Morse v. People

Decision Date24 March 1969
Docket NumberNo. 22999,22999
Citation168 Colo. 494,452 P.2d 3
PartiesJoseph Dyre MORSE, Plaintiff in Error, v. The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Defendant in Error.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Francis R. Salazar, Robert L. Pitler, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

Duke W. Dunbar, Atty. Gen., John P. Moore, Deputy Atty. Gen., Denver, for defendant in error.

McWILLIAMS, Chief Justice.

Joseph Dyre Morse, hereinafter referred to as the defendant, was convicted by a jury of the crime of first degree murder and the penalty imposed by the jury was that of life imprisonment in the state penitentiary. By the present writ of error the defendant seeks reversal of the judgment and sentence thus entered.

The only matter presented in this court which was raised during trial and thereafter assigned as error in the motion for a new trial concerns the admission into evidence of statements made by the defendant to the police, as well as certain other evidence obtained as a result of defendant's aforesaid statements to the police. It is claimed that such evidence was inadmissible because the defendant was not fully and adequately advised of his right to counsel, particularly as relates to his right to counsel without cost to him, if he be indigent and without funds to retain private counsel. In short, it is claimed the mandate of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 was not followed. A bit of background material will put this particular argument in proper focus and at the same time demonstrate that the contention is without merit.

One Elaura Jeanne Jaquette was brutally bludgeoned to death on July 9, 1966. The defendant was taken into custody on August 5, 1966. The First thing the arresting officers did was to read--and then explain--to the defendant a so-called 'Advisement Form,' which form was thereafter signed by the defendant. Contained in this form was the statement that the defendant had a right to remain silent, that any statement he made could be used against him, and that he had a 'right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed.' The evidence was that the defendant indicated to the arresting officers that he knew the difference between retained and appointed counsel, and that he didn't want any counsel, retained or appointed, as he had 'nothing to hide.'

There was other testimony that on August 5 and 6, 1966, the defendant on several occasions was readvised of the constitutional rights above referred to and that he signed one or two more of the so-called 'Advisement Forms.' Additionally, the defendant signed a 'Consent to Search' form in which he granted permission to the Boulder police to search his home.

On August 7, 1966 the defendant was taken before a Boulder municipal Judge, where he was again advised, and this time by the judge, of his various constitutional rights, including the right to counsel without expense to him, if he be indigent. And on this occasion too, the defendant declared that he did not want to confer with counsel, stating that he had 'no reason for an attorney.'

On August 9, 1966 the defendant was formally charged with the crime of murder in the first degree and thereafter he was represented upon trial by court appointed counsel. However, it should be parenthetically noted, that on writ of error he is now represented by retained counsel.

At the outset of the trial proper counsel for the defendant made an oral motion to suppress the statements made by the defendant to the police, and in support thereof the defendant--not the district attorney--called several police officers who testified concerning the warnings referred to above. The defendant also called as a witness the municipal judge who, as previously indicated, had also advised defendant of his several constitutional rights. The defendant did not testify in connection with his motion to...

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13 cases
  • People v. Kadell
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • October 5, 2017
    ...in that case, McCoy , ¶¶ 68-107, but I think there's a bit more to be said.¶ 63 The McCoy majority first relied on Morse v. People , 168 Colo. 494, 452 P.2d 3 (1969), which it characterized as reviewing an unpreserved insufficiency of the evidence claim without applying plain error. See McC......
  • People v. McCoy
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • June 18, 2015
    ...a defendant forfeits appellate review of sufficiency claims that were not raised in the trial court. See, e.g., Morse v. People, 168 Colo. 494, 498, 452 P.2d 3, 5 (1969).¶ 12 In Morse, the defendant raised several claims for the first time on appeal. Id. at 497–98, 452 P.2d at 5. One of the......
  • People v. Lacallo
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • June 19, 2014
    ...1274 (2014).3 ¶ 7 Even so, in Colorado sufficiency of the evidence may be raised for the first time on appeal. See Morse v. People, 168 Colo. 494, 498, 452 P.2d 3, 5 (1969) (“The one new matter urged upon us in this court which can be adequately reviewed on the basis of the record now befor......
  • People v. Lacallo
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • June 19, 2014
    ...1274 (2014). 3 ¶ 7 Even so, in Colorado sufficiency of the evidence may be raised for the first time on appeal. See Morse v. People, 168 Colo. 494, 498, 452 P.2d 3, 5 (1969) (“The one new matter urged upon us in this court which can be adequately reviewed on the basis of the record now befo......
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