Mitchell v. State, No. 1276S437

Docket NºNo. 1276S437
Citation366 N.E.2d 183, 266 Ind. 656
Case DateAugust 25, 1977
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 183

366 N.E.2d 183
266 Ind. 656
Donald Gene MITCHELL, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 1276S437.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Aug. 25, 1977.

[266 Ind. 657]

Page 184

Jeffrey A. Lockwood, Anderson, for appellant.

Theo. L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Daniel Lee Pflum, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

DeBRULER, Justice.

This is an appeal from convictions for rape, Ind.Code § 35-13-4-3, (Burns 1975), robbery, Ind.Code § 35-13-4-6, (Burns 1975), entering to commit a felony, Ind.Code § 35-13-4-5, (Burns 1975) and automobile banditry, Ind.Code § 35-12-2-1, (Burns 1975). Appellant received sentences for these offenses of twenty-one years, ten to twenty-five years, one to five years, and one to five years, respectively. Trial was by jury.

The gravamen of the offenses was that appellant broke into the house of Helen Feight and there sexually assaulted her and took her money. He contends in this appeal that the evidence serving to identify him as the perpetrator of these offenses was wholly insufficient to support the jury verdict. In determining this question we do not weigh the evidence nor resolve questions of credibility but look to the evidence and reasonable inferences therefrom which support the verdict. In so doing we may consider evidence supporting the verdict without regard to which side produced it. The conviction will be affirmed if from that viewpoint there is evidence of probative value from which a reasonable trier of fact could infer that appellant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Glover v. State,

Page 185

(1970) 253 Ind. 536, 255 N.E.2d 657. Circumstantial evidence is no different than other evidence for this purpose, and standing alone may sufficiently support the convictions.

Here, no single fact proved, standing alone, directly or inferentially establishes the identity of the assailant. The inference that appellant committed these crimes, can be made, if at all, upon the greater part of all the evidence presented by the prosecution and a small part of that presented by the defense. The evidence showed the following.

The place of these crimes was the home of the victim, Helen Feight. It was located in rural Madison County on [266 Ind. 658] Road 750W, one-fourth mile south of State Road 128. The buildings consisted of a house, barn and shed clustered together in the farmyard, separated from the surrounding fields by a fence. The house was located on the north side of the lot. The barn was located to the southeast of the house, and the shed was located to the south of the house. The drive from the road led in the direction of the barn between the house and the shed. Road 750W is a dead-end, gravel road, a lane and a half wide, about a half mile long. Three houses were located on this road. The Feight house was the first on the road; a vacant house was second, and the third, located at the end of the road, was occupied by the Crowder family.

The offenses occurred on the evening of January 17, 1976, at about 9:30 p.m. It was a bitterly cold night and there was deep...

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12 practice notes
  • McFarland v. State, No. 2-177A33
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 22, 1979
    ...a greater penalty. That is to say, automobile banditry "merged" into its subsidiary felony. E. g., Mitchell v. State, (1977) Ind., 366 N.E.2d 183 (rape, robbery, and entering to commit a felony); Coleman v. State, (1975) 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51 (armed robbery); Sutton v. State, (1966) 24......
  • Elmore v. State, No. 2-876
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 1, 1978
    ...heroin were not merged even though the conspiracy occurred at the same time and place as the delivery. In Mitchell v. State (1977), Ind., 366 N.E.2d 183, sentences for entering to commit a felony, rape and robbery were all permitted to stand despite the fact that rape and robbery were the f......
  • Knowlton v. State, No. 3-578A113
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 29, 1978
    ...test whether the evidence is circumstantial or direct. Ruetz v. State (1978), Ind., 373 N.E.2d 152, 156. Mitchell v. State (1977), Ind., 366 N.E.2d 183, 185. When a conviction rests wholly on circumstantial evidence, however, our determination of whether the evidence is sufficient must nece......
  • George v. State, No. 1-179A4
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 17, 1979
    ...probative value from which a reasonable trier of fact can infer the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Mitchell v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 656, 366 N.E.2d 183. Corpus delicti and criminal agency of the defendant may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Ellis v. State, (1969) 252 Ind......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • McFarland v. State, No. 2-177A33
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 22, 1979
    ...a greater penalty. That is to say, automobile banditry "merged" into its subsidiary felony. E. g., Mitchell v. State, (1977) Ind., 366 N.E.2d 183 (rape, robbery, and entering to commit a felony); Coleman v. State, (1975) 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51 (armed robbery); Sutton v. State, (1966) 24......
  • Elmore v. State, No. 2-876
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 1, 1978
    ...heroin were not merged even though the conspiracy occurred at the same time and place as the delivery. In Mitchell v. State (1977), Ind., 366 N.E.2d 183, sentences for entering to commit a felony, rape and robbery were all permitted to stand despite the fact that rape and robbery were the f......
  • Knowlton v. State, No. 3-578A113
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 29, 1978
    ...test whether the evidence is circumstantial or direct. Ruetz v. State (1978), Ind., 373 N.E.2d 152, 156. Mitchell v. State (1977), Ind., 366 N.E.2d 183, 185. When a conviction rests wholly on circumstantial evidence, however, our determination of whether the evidence is sufficient must nece......
  • George v. State, No. 1-179A4
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 17, 1979
    ...probative value from which a reasonable trier of fact can infer the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Mitchell v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 656, 366 N.E.2d 183. Corpus delicti and criminal agency of the defendant may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Ellis v. State, (1969) 252 Ind......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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