Moore v. State

Decision Date01 February 1960
Docket NumberNo. 41482,41482
PartiesBennie MOORE v. STATE of Mississippi.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

W. W. Pierce, Jackson, for appellant.

Joe T. Patterson, Atty. Gen., by G. Garland Lyell, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen. for appellee.

GILLESPIE, Justice.

Bennie Moore was convicted of manslaughter by culpable negligence. He ran his automobile into and fatally injured Patricia Taylor, an eight year old child. The jury was justified under the evidence in finding the facts as next stated.

The fatal accident occurred in Jackson, Mississippi, about 75 feet south of the intersection of Ash Street, which runs east and west, and Palmyra Street, which runs north and south. Signs on Palmyra Street restrict speed to 30 miles per hour. Moore traveled this street frequently. It is a thickly inhabited residential area with only one vacant lot on the block where the accident occurred. There are no sidewalks on either side of Palmyra Street and the houses are relatively close together and close to the street. Palmyra Street is 23 feet 10 inches wide south of Ash Street. The weather was clear; the street was dry. The fatal accident occurred about 11:30 A.M. The deceased had been playing with other children in a yard on the east side of Palmyra Street and started to cross the street from east to west. She waited at the east curb until a northbound vehicle driven by Mrs. Dean passed. When Mrs. Dean reached a point about 120 feet north of Ash Street, she met Moore who was traveling south on Palmyra Street at a speed of 55 to 65 miles per hour. Just where the child was at about this time is not clear but the jury could infer that she was crossing Palmyra. At any rate, the inference is permissible that Moore could have seen the deceased. Moore saw the deceased in time to effectively apply his brakes beginning at the south line of Ash Street, from which point his automobile skidded all four wheels a distance of 140 feet where the right front end hit a telephone pole located near the west curb of Palmyra Street. When his automobile hit the telephone pole, it was knocked to the left and thence went in a semi-circle to the right, coming to rest headed west in a driveway leading west from Palmyra Street. After skidding about 84 feet south from the intersection, the right wheels of Moore's automobile jumped the west curb of Palmyra Street and continued skidding to the telephone pole with the left wheels in the street and the right wheels on the earth. The deceased was struck as the automobile was skidding about 75 feet south of the intersection of Ash and Palmyra Streets. Immediately after the accident the deceased was lying unconscious in the gutter near the telephone pole mentioned above. She died less than an hour later.

It would serve no purpose to set out Moore's testimony because the jury rejected it. The great weight of the evidence, including physical facts, contradicted his testimony.

Appellant assigns as error the action of the lower court in refusing a requested peremptory charge. This assignment of error raises two questions: (1) Whether the proof established that appellant was guilty of that degree of negligence necessary under our decisions to sustain a verdict of manslaughter by culpable negligence, and (2) whether there was sufficient proof that the child died from the injuries sustained in the accident.

Since the decision of this Court in Smith v. State, 197 Miss. 802, 20 So.2d 701, 161 A.L.R. 1, the rule has been that in order to give the term 'culpable negligence' in the statute its proper setting it should be construed to mean negligence of a higher degree than that which in civil cases is held to be gross negligence, and must be negligence so gross as to be tantamount to a wanton disregard of, or utter indifference to, the safety of human life, and that this shall be so clearly evidenced as to place it beyond every reasonable doubt. See also Reynolds v. State, 199 Miss. 409, 24 So.2d 781; Brown v. State, 202 Miss. 202, 30 So.2d 802; Downs v. State, 206 Miss. 831, 41 So.2d 19; Coleman v. State, 208 Miss. 612, 45...

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8 cases
  • Burge v. State, 55569
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • June 5, 1985
    ...Campbell v. State, 285 So.2d 891, 893 (Miss.1973); Grinnell v. State, 230 So.2d 555, 558 (Miss.1970); Moore v. State, 238 Miss. 103, 109, 117 So.2d 469, 471 (1960). On the other hand, our law provides that the killing of a human being is not unlawful when committed in the defense of one's o......
  • Hawkins v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 13, 2012
    ...may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Coburn v. State, 250 Miss. 684, 693, 168 So.2d 123, 127 (Miss.1964) (citing Moore v. State, 238 Miss. 103, 117 So.2d 469 (1960); Watts v. State, 210 Miss. 236, 49 So.2d 240 (1950)). ¶ 15. In the present case, the State produced evidence that the vic......
  • Hawkins v. State, 2011-KA-00557-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 20, 2012
    ...may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Coburn v. State, 250 Miss. 684, 693, 168 So. 2d 123, 127 (Miss. 1964) (citing Moore v. State, 238 Miss. 103, 117 So. 2d 469 (1960); Watts v. State, 210 Miss. 236, 49 So. 2d 240 (1950)).¶15. In the present case, the State produced evidence that the v......
  • State v. Price
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • October 5, 1979
    ...State v. Engstrom, 79 Wash.2d 469, 487 P.2d 205 (1971), State v. Medicine Bull, 152 Mont. 34, 445 P.2d 916 (1968), Moore v. State, 238 Miss. 103, 117 So.2d 469 (1960).2 Cases excluding statements made while under the influence of alcohol apply only where Miranda warnings were required. Ther......
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