Nickell v. Com.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtWILLIAMS
PartiesCecil K. NICKELL, Appellant, v. COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
Decision Date18 October 1963

Page 849

371 S.W.2d 849
Cecil K. NICKELL, Appellant,
v.
COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
Oct. 18, 1963.

John Y. Brown, Sr., John Y. Brown, Jr., Lexington, for appellant.

John B. Breckinridge, Atty. Gen., James G. Osborne, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

WILLIAMS, Judge.

The appellant, Cecil K. Nickell, was tried in the Perry Circuit Court on the charge of armed robbery. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. On his appeal he complains of the fact that he was not granted a change of venue.

Prior to appellant's trial a hearing was held pursuant to his petition for a change of venue. His attorneys stated that they had been unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain affidavits to the effect that he would not receive a fair and unbiased trial in Perry County. Sworn statements of the attorneys indicate that they spent at least a month attempting to find persons to sign the affidavits, and that individuals contacted generally believed the appellant would not get a fair trial but were unwilling to sign an affidavit.

Appellant introduced certain newspapers at the venue hearing. One paper carried a front page picture of him with handcuffs on, and other editions of the paper carried news stories which discounted his plea of

Page 850

not guilty. His attorneys stated that radio and television stations had given undue prominence to the crime.

Appellant was an itinerant salesman living in Lexington and unknown in Perry County. The victim of the armed robbery was a doctor who was prominent in the community. This fact is alleged to have been sufficient to cause bias against appellant. Along the same line it is appellant's contention that the order of the circuit judge that he be sent to an out-of-county jail and be denied bail indicates the hostility of the community toward him. We held the denial of bail to be proper in Nickell v. Kelly, Ky., 357 S.W.2d 856.

When the case was called for trial the circuit court dismissed the entire jury panel when one of them stated in open court she thought the appellant was guilty. New names were drawn from the wheel and a jury was impaneled after 49 prospective jurors were examined. Appellant argues that this number is excessive and tends to show the extent of community bias.

The Commonwealth's Attorney made a statement in his closing argument (no objection was made to the statement) which pointed out that the armed robbery had received publicity not only in local...

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18 practice notes
  • Hodge v. Com., No. 1996-SC-1085-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 24 Febrero 2000
    ...venue "is given great weight because he is present in the county and presumed to know the situation." Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849, 850 (1963). The fact that a previous trial generated publicity does not automatically require a change of venue for the retrial, particularly w......
  • Skaggs v. Com., No. 82-SC-917-MR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 23 Mayo 1985
    ...know the situation. There has been no abuse of discretion in the denial of the motion for change of venue. Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849 The trial court did not commit reversible error by denying the motion of Skaggs for a change of venue because of pretrial publicity during ......
  • Stopher v. Com., No. 1998-SC-0334-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 21 Noviembre 2001
    ...trial court's decision because the judge is present in the county and is presumed to know the situation. Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849 (1963). "It is not the amount of publicity which determines that venue should be changed; it is whether public opinion is so aroused as to pr......
  • Thurman v. Com., Nos. 94-SC-496-M
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 21 Mayo 1998
    ...venue "is given great weight because he is present in the county and presumed to know the situation." Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849, 850 (1963). The ease with which an impartial jury was selected in this case is convincing that the trial judge's perception that Appellant coul......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Hodge v. Com., No. 1996-SC-1085-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 24 Febrero 2000
    ...venue "is given great weight because he is present in the county and presumed to know the situation." Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849, 850 (1963). The fact that a previous trial generated publicity does not automatically require a change of venue for the retrial, particularly w......
  • Skaggs v. Com., No. 82-SC-917-MR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 23 Mayo 1985
    ...know the situation. There has been no abuse of discretion in the denial of the motion for change of venue. Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849 The trial court did not commit reversible error by denying the motion of Skaggs for a change of venue because of pretrial publicity during ......
  • Stopher v. Com., No. 1998-SC-0334-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 21 Noviembre 2001
    ...trial court's decision because the judge is present in the county and is presumed to know the situation. Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849 (1963). "It is not the amount of publicity which determines that venue should be changed; it is whether public opinion is so aroused as to pr......
  • Thurman v. Com., Nos. 94-SC-496-M
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 21 Mayo 1998
    ...venue "is given great weight because he is present in the county and presumed to know the situation." Nickell v. Commonwealth, Ky., 371 S.W.2d 849, 850 (1963). The ease with which an impartial jury was selected in this case is convincing that the trial judge's perception that Appellant coul......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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