Niece v. Com.

Decision Date04 June 1948
Citation212 S.W.2d 291,307 Ky. 760
CourtKentucky Court of Appeals

Appeal from Circuit Court, Letcher County; R. Monroe Fields, Judge.

Brent Niece was convicted of receiving stolen property, and he appeals.

Judgment affirmed.

J. L. Hays and Emmett G. Fields, both of Whitesburg for appellant.

A. E Funk, Atty. Gen., J. A. Runyon, of Pikeville, and Zeb A Stewart, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

STANLEY Commissioner

The judgment is of conviction of the crime of receiving stolen property. KRS 433.290. The penalty imposed is five years' imprisonment. The case is a sequel to Nease v. Commonwealth, 307 Ky. 640, 211 S.W.2d 826, and McPeak v. Commonwealth, 213 S.W.2d 447. They affirmed death sentences imposed upon two men for armed robbery. Those men and another took the automobile and other property of Vernon Hodges, in Jefferson County, compelled him to go with them to Perry County, where they brutally murdered him. However, those facts were scrupulously kept out of this trial of the appellant, Brent Niece, who was convicted of receiving the automobile and a box of mechanics tools, of which Hodges had been robbed.

The brief of the appellant does not comply with Rule 1.340, which requires a concise classification of the points raised or grounds upon which the reversal is sought. See Combs v. Thomas, 304 Ky. 654, 201 S.W.2d 557. And there is no seperation or classification of those points in the body of the brief. We have been compelled to pick them out.

The appellant is the father of Jasper Niece, one of those convicted of the robbery. He and Workman came to the defendant's home in Letcher County right after the robbery. The proof of the Commonwealth is that the defendant obtained permission of a neighbor to have the stolen automobile driven through his yard, back of the house in which the defendant and another son, Ben Niece, lived. It was there painted black by Ben Niece and another man, who was not identified as being the defendant. But the defendant had bought a can of black paint and a brush and when asked if he was going to paint his taxicab he replied that he was not. After the car had been paint ed, the defendant and Jasper Niece took it to an isolated place in a hollow and left it there. Then the defendant inquired of Gene Adkins, an automobile dealer, whether he would be interested in buying or handling a 'hot' car. Adkins had just read of the Hodges death. He testified:

'He asked me if I could handle this hot car and I told him it was the hottest car in the State of Kentucky, and he wanted to know why, and I told him a man had been killed in it and he wanted to know what kind of car it was and I told him it was a 1939 convertible Packard. He asked me the color of it and I said yellow, and he said I was mistaken because the car he had for sale was black. I asked him if it had been painted and he said it could have been because it had a bright new paint job.'

It seems that these descriptions made by the defendant afforded the clue which resulted in the arrest of the two men. The automobile was valued at $1500. The defendant was trying to raise funds to pay for a cooking stove that he had shipped to him. It also proved that he had cleaned and sold a box of tools of the value of $30 for $10, and had sold very cheap an Army rifle which he offered well wrapped up. The automobile and tools were identified as belonging to Vernon Hodges.

The defendant testified that his son, Jasper, and two companions had come to his house, but had not stayed there. That Workman told him the car belonged to his father; and, further, that he, the defendant, had had nothing to do with the automobile. He denied that he bought any paint at the time, but stated he had purchased paint at different times for his own car. He had 'suspicioned something' and had run his boy away from his home. He did not try to sell the car to Adkins, but he had told him about it and his suspicions, and asked that he look into the matter. The defendant testified that the tools and the rifle he had sold were his own property, and told where he had obtained them several years before. One of the men from whom he got some of the tools was dead and the other could not be found. The defendant's cross-examination weakened his story. He had been convicted of the felony of chicken stealing several years before, but claimed to have reformed. In some particulars the defendant is corroborated by his wife and by a deposition of an absent witness.

The court withdrew the testimony concerning the rifle,...

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2 cases
  • State v. Thibodeau
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Court
    • March 22, 1974
    ...that an indictment charging receiving stolen property need not allege the name of the person who stole the property. Niece v. Commonwealth, 1948, 307 Ky. 760, 212 S.W.2d 291; State v. Callaway, 1954, 72 Wyo. 509, 267 P.2d 970; People v. Allen, 1950, 407 Ill. 596, 96 N.E.2d 446. Nor is it ne......
  • Sweeney's Ex'r v. Anderson
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • June 8, 1948

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