People v. Campbell, Docket No. 7732

CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan (US)
Citation26 Mich.App. 196,182 N.W.2d 4
Docket NumberNo. 1,Docket No. 7732,1
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. William Larry CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant
Decision Date25 August 1970

Norman L. Zemke, Detroit, for defendant-appellant; Jane K. Burgess, Detroit, of counsel.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Derengoski, sol. Gen., William L. Cahalan, Pros. Atty., Dmonick R. Carnovale, Chief, Appellate Div., Angelo A. Pentolino, Asst. Pros. Atty., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before HOLBROOK, P.J., and R. B. BURNS, and O'HARA, * JJ.

O'HARA, Judge.

This is an appeal of right from the denial of a motion for a new trial. Defendant was charged with, and jury convicted of, the crime of first degree murder. 1

We recite the relevant facts. In March of 1967, Margaret Churan, the mother of the defendant, was strangled to death. Defendant at that time was enamored of and keeping company with a certain Mary Dotson. Mrs. Dotson originally came from Tennessee. She was the mother of several children who lived with her in Detroit. Defendant lived in Hamtrameck. Mrs. Dotson wanted to return to her mother's home in Tennessee. Defendant offered to drive her there. To do so, he had to have the use of his mother's car. Defendant, Mrs. Dotson, and her children came to the deceased's home with the defendant to get permission to use the car. It was refused. An argument ensued. During the argument, according to Mrs. Dotson, the defendant instructed her to take her children upstairs and to remain there until he called her to come down. He did not do so for a considerable period of time. While she and the children were upstairs, Mrs. Dotson heard a door close and someone, presumably the defendant, leave the home. Sometime later he returned. He told her he was ready to take her to her mother's home. Before leaving he elicited her aid in carrying a heavy trunk from the house and putting it in his mother's car. They left and arrived at Mrs. Dotson's mother's home around nine the next morning. Mrs. Dotson's children were left at the grandmaternal home. Mrs. Dotson and defendant dorve some twelve miles out into the back country. Defendant removed the trunk from the car. According to Mrs. Dotson, when he raised the lid on the trunk she saw a hand. She started to run away. Defendant allegedly restrained her and told her to get back in the car. Defendant then poured gasoline on the trunk and ignited it.

Some time later defendant was arrested in Bradley County, Tennessee, by Tennessee authorities on a fugitive warrant for escape from a South Carolina workhouse. During confinement and interrogation in connection with that charge, he confessed to the murder of his mother. He was then taken to McMinn County, Tennessee, the county in which the body was found. While in McMinn County, defendant, in the presence of the McMinn Sheriff and two newspapermen, confessed again. During a subsequent trip to McMinn County, defendant stated in a televised interview that he would plead guilty to the murder of his mother.

He was returned to Michigan and tried in Recorder's Court for the city of Detroit, and convicted as previously noted. During the trial, he repudiated his confessions. He claimed Mrs. Dotson, in fact, strangled his mother. He testified that on the night of the murder both his mother and Mrs. Dotson had been drinking; that there was ill feeling between them; and that he had confessed only to shield her, Mrs. Dotson, and her children from complicity in the crime.

The jury apparently accepted Mrs. Dotson's version of the grisly events and rejected defendant's.

On appeal, defendant raises three issues:

(1) That his confession was improperly admitted as being obtained in violation of his basic Fifth and Sixth Amendment constitutional rights, particularly as to his right to counsel and his alleged waiver thereof; (2) that his guilt was not established beyond a reasonable doubt, and (3) that there were insufficient facts adduced to vest jurisdiction of the prosecution in the Recorder's Court of the city of Detroit.

We treat the assignments of error in inverse order.

(3) Jurisdiction need not be proved with computerized accuracy. There was ample evidence from which the jury could reasonably infer that the offense was committed within the city of Detroit. To hold otherwise would place upon the prosecution in every criminal proceeding the impossible burden of producing an eyewitness capable of testifying to the event or events constituting the offense and the precise location at which they took place. Those guilty of criminal conduct are not always sufficiently cooperative to provide witnesses for this purpose. It may in fact be said that in most cases they seek to avoid furnishing such testimony. The assignment of error is totally without merit. 'During the trial the defendant strenuously contended the alleged offense occurred within the corporate limits of the city of Detroit. There was testimony on the part of the people in contradiction of this contention that the alleged offense occurred in Highland Park. The trial judge correctly covered the matter in his instructions, specifically telling the jury this was a question of fact for them to resolve. Obviously, from the verdict, they found the crime to have been committed in Highland Park.' People v. Ragland (1968), 14 Mich.App. 425, 427, 165 N.W.2d 639.

(2) There was ample testimony if believed by the jury to support its finding of defendant's guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. Citations and record excerpts in support of this holding would add nothing to our obvious conclusion from the total record. A fact issue was clearly created. The jury resolved it. It is not susceptible of our review. People v. Heard (1969), 19 Mich.App. 516, 172 N.W.2d 889; People v. Thomas (1967), 7 Mich.App. 103, 151 N.W.2d 186.

(1) We turn next to the first claimed error, namely, that defendant was inadequately advised of his constitutional rights and that if so advised he did not expressly waive the right to counsel before being questioned.

The warnings were given to him in the following manner. He was presented with a printed card reading:

'Your rights: Bradley County, Tennessee.

Date: 4/19/67. Time: 7:08 P.M.

'Before we ask you any questions, you must understand your rights. You have a right to remain silent and anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions and have him with you during the questioning. You have this right to advice in the presence of a lawyer, even if you cannot afford to hire one. We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you if you wish, if and when you go to court.

'If you wish to answer questions at anytime, you also have the right to stop answering at anytime until you talk to a lawyer. This is the waiver: I have read the statement of the rights shown above and I understand my rights and what they are, and I'm willing to answer any questions and make the statement. I do not want a lawyer and I understand and know what I...

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  • State v. Maluia
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • September 11, 1975
    ...without a lawyer being present, you still have the right to stop answering at anytime,' which immediately followed. People v. Campbell, 26 Mich.App. 196, 182 N.W.2d 4 (1970). Thus, defendant was told that any decision he made to proceed was tentative, and he could stop the interview at any ......
  • Duckworth v. Eagan, 88-317
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    ...P.2d 907, 915-916 (Alaska 1973); State v. Mumbaugh, 107 Ariz. 589, 596-597, 491 P.2d 443, 450-451 (1971); People v. Campbell, 26 Mich.App. 196, 201-202, 182 N.W.2d 4, 6-7 (1970), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 945, 91 S.Ct. 960, 28 L.Ed.2d 228 (1971); People v. Swift, 32 App.Div.2d 183, 186-187, 30......
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    • June 30, 1975
    ...Klingler v. United States (8th Cir. 1969), 409 F.2d 299; State v. Carpenter (1973), 211 Kan. 234, 505 P.2d 753; People v. Campbell (1970), 26 Mich.App. 196, 182 N.W.2d 4; People v. Swift (1969), 32 A.D.2d 183, 300 N.Y.S.2d 639.Contra: United States ex rel. Williams v. Twomey (7th Cir. 1972)......
  • United States v. Rawls
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    ...Rouse v. State, 255 Ind. 670, 266 N.E.2d 209 (1971); People v. Williams, 131 Ill.App.2d 149, 264 N.E.2d 901 (1970); People v. Campbell, 26 Mich.App. 196, 182 N.W.2d 4 (1970), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 945, 91 S.Ct. 960, 28 L.Ed.2d 228 (1971); Steel v. State, 246 Ark. 75, 436 S.W.2d 800 (1969);......
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