Passwater v. State, 30828

Decision Date25 September 1967
Docket NumberNo. 30828,30828
Citation248 Ind. 454,229 N.E.2d 718
PartiesDieno Orval PASSWATER, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Chester H. Wilson, Indianapolis, for appellant.

John J. Dillon, Atty. Gen., Raymond I. Klagiss, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

HUNTER, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from a judgment and conviction for the offense of second degree burglary. Trial was by the Court without the intervention of a jury.

The Court found the defendant to be twenty-two (22) years of age and sentenced him to the Indiana State Reformatory for not less than two (2) years nor more than five (5) years.

Appellant's motion for new trial was overruled. The motion for new trial and assignment of errors present the following questions:

(1) The finding was contrary to law;

(2) the finding of the Court is not sustained by sufficient evidence;

(3) the defendant appellant was charged with second degree burglary against the property of Keyless Lock Company but in fact only money was taken from vending machines owned by an outside concern and located within the property of said company.

Thus, upon the questions presented by this appeal, two (2) sections of the Criminal Code are involved as follows:

(1) Second degree burglary is defined by Ind. Ann.Stat. § 10--701(b) (1956) as follows:

'Whoever breaks and enters into any boat, wharf-boat, or other water craft, interurban-car, street-car, railroad- car, automobile, airplane, or other aircraft, or any building or structure other than a dwelling-house or place of human habitation, with the intent to commit a felony therein, shall be guilty of burglary in the second degree * * *.'

(2) The intent to commit the felony as charged is defined by the Offenses Against Property Act (hereinafter referred to as the Theft Code) in Ind.Ann.Stat. § 10--3030(1)(a) (Supp.1967) as follows:

'* * * obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner; * * *'

and § 10--3030(2)(a):

'* * * intends to deprive owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property * * *'

The affidavit filed by the appellee State is in words and figures as follows:

'BE IT REMEMBERED, That, on this day before me, NOBLE R. PEARCY, Prosecuting Attorney of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, personally came JESSE FINKE who, being duly sworn, upon his oath says that DALE HAZELWOOD and DIENO ORVAL PASSWATER and LOUIS E. SEVERE on or about the 10th day of November, A.D. 1964, at and in the County of Marion in the State of Indiana, did then and there unlawfully, feloniously and burglariously break and enter into the building and structure of KEYLESS LOCK COMPANY, a corporation, then and there situate at 6790 EAST 32ND STREET, County of Marion, State of Indiana, which said building and structure was not a place of human habitation, with the intent to commit a felony therein, to-wit: to unlawfully and feloniously and knowingly obtain and exert unauthorized control over property of said KEYLESS LOCK COMPANY, a corporation, permanently of the use and benefit of said property, then and there being * * * contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana.'

Propositions (1) and (2) of the errors presented by the motion for new trial and assignment of errors raise identical questions of law and are grouped and argued together under propositions (1) and (2). The appellant contends that there is insufficient evidence to prove material elements of the offense of second degree burglary, i.e.,

(1) breaking and entering, and

(2) with the intent to commit a felony under the Theft Code as charged in the affidavit.

The third proposition advanced in this appeal is that no property was taken from the Keyless Lock Company but was only taken from a vending machine owned by an outside concern. Thus, the third proposition raises a question of variance.

Upon the issues presented in this case, the burden of proof rested upon the State to prove each of the following material elements:

(1) a breaking,

(2) an entering,

(3) of a building or structure other than a dwelling-house or place of human habitation,

(4) coupled with intent to commit felony in such building or structure.

Appellee submits that in regard to all of these elements, there is sufficient evidence.

Addressing our attention to propositions (1) and (2) first on the breaking and entering, the evidence and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom when viewed most favorable to the appellee State reveals the following:

There was testimony by the plant manager of Keyless Lock Company to the effect that the plant was locked when he left it earlier on the night in question. Police officers received a report of an alarm at the Keyless Lock Company, a manufacturing plant in which no one resided, and which was located in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. The police arrived at the plant shortly afterwards and discovered appellant's station wagon parked out of sight behind the Keyless Lock Company building and observed that an overhead door of the building was open about six (6) to eight (8) inches from the ground and further observed three (3) individuals, the appellant being one of them in the process of breaking into a Coke vending machine. The deputy sheriff entered the building and called to the three (3) to stop, appellant and another broke and ran but only to be in the path of another police officer who at this time apprehended them. At the time of his apprehension the appellant remarked to one of the police officers and deputy sheriff that the next time he would enter a building he would be armed. In a conversation with the plant manager of Keyless Lock Company, the appellant stated that the decision to break into the building had been made the same night by the appellant and the other two accomplices who were cruising around in an automobile following a poker game. At the trial the appellant admitted on the stand that he had broken into one of the vending machines and that he and one of the others had raised the overhead door in order to gain entrance to the plant. The evidence further demonstrated that five (5) vending machines had been damaged in the attempts to open them and that about $20 had already been removed by appellant and his companions which money was discovered in the topcoat of one of his accomplices where the money had been placed by the three (3) as it was removed from the machines. The evidence finally indicates that the appellant did not have permission or authority to enter the premises in question. We therefore hold that there is sufficient evidence of probative value and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom to establish the element of breaking and entering. Cockerham v. State (1965), Ind., 204 N.E.2d 654. The rule was stated therein:

'(w)alking through an open door does not constitute a 'breaking' as such element is known in the crime of burglary.

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9 cases
  • Smith v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • December 30, 1975
    ...Thomas v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 131, 263 N.E.2d 158; Gunder v. State (1968), 250 Ind. 689, 238 N.E.2d 655; Passwater v. State (1967), 248 Ind. 454, 229 N.E.2d 718; Lucas v. State (1918), 187 Ind. 709, 121 N.E. 274. Further, the statutory definition of 'owner' is as "Owner' means a person, ......
  • Gunder v. State, 867S59
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • July 16, 1968
    ...property. It is of little concern whether he holds as bailee, agent, trustee, or personal representative. Again in the Passwater v. State (1967), Ind., 229 N.E.2d 718, in a decision handed down the same date as Lake v. State, supra, Judge Hunter speaking for the court cited the Lake v. Stat......
  • Vasquez v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • November 16, 2001
    ...of the slightest force in pushing aside a door in order to enter does constitute a breaking through the doorway." Passwater v. State, 248 Ind. 454, 229 N.E.2d 718, 721 (1967). Taylor testified that on the day after Defendant killed Johnson, Taylor drove Defendant to a house on Webster Stree......
  • Thomas v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • October 22, 1970
    ...gas station and the evidence showed the station owner had lawful possession of the machines but did not own them. In Passwater v. State (1967), 248 Ind. 454, 229 N.E.2d 718, it was applied where the defendant was charged with breaking and entering with the intent to steal the property of Ke......
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