People v. Weyonen

Decision Date03 June 1929
Docket NumberNo. 120.,120.
PartiesPEOPLE v. WEYONEN et al.
CourtMichigan Supreme Court


Error to Circuit Court, Chippewa County; Herbert W. Runnels, Judge.

Robert Weyonen was convicted of manslaughter, and he brings error. Reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Argued before the Entire Bench.Warner & Sullivan, of Sault Ste. Marie, for appellant.

Herbert L. Parsille, Pros. Atty., of Sault Ste. Marie, for the People.


March 27, 1928, Albert Amyotte visited the city of Sault Ste. Marie. He had with him $190 in Canadian money. He was about the city, indulged freely in intoxicating liquors, and in the evening was at the home of Earl Iobst, and was drunk. There he was helped up from the floor and taken out of the house by Earl Iobst, George Hinds, and Margaret Graham, and was led away toward the river by the two men. He disappeared. The 20th of July following, his badly decomposed body, showing many and fatal knife wounds, was discovered in a ship slip near where he was last known to have been in the company of Iobst and Hinds. He was murdered. Earl Iobst, George Hinds, and Robert Weyonen were charged with his murder, and, upon trial by jury in the Chippewa circuit, were found guilty of manslaughter.

At the close of the people's proof, and again at the close of all the proofs, counsel for Weyonen moved for his discharge on the ground that there was no evidence to go to the jury connecting him with the crime, either as principal or accessory. Both motions were denied, and the issue as to all defendants submitted to the jury, under fair instruction, with the result mentioned. Counsel for Weyonen moved for a new trial on the grounds that the verdict as to Weyonen was not only against the weight of the evidence, but was unsupported by the evidence. This motion was denied. Weyonen prosecutes review by writ of error.

The only question we need consider is whether there was evidence, direct or circumstantial, connecting Weyonen with the commission of the crime.

Weyonen was at the Iobst house when Amyotte was taken out by Iobst and Hinds, but all the testimony was to the effect that he was drunk and asleep on a bed, except once when he arose to vomit, that he took no part in the removal of Amyotte, and was too drunk to be aware of Amyotte's removal from the house. It is true that shortly after Amyotte's removal from the house Weyonen, the two other defendants, Margaret Graham, and another woman went in a taxi to a restaurant and another place, and spent the night in a drunken carousal. The three defendants and the two women mentioned are evidently of low order, and the day and night of the murder they indulged in an almost incredible drinking bout, in which Mr. Amyotte was for a time a participant. Weyonen may be guilty. Our review,...

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11 cases
  • People v. Petrella, Docket Nos. 71556
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • January 10, 1986 any evidence, based only upon assumption. People v. Plautz, 28 Mich.App. 621, 623, 184 N.W.2d 761 (1970); People v. Weyonen, 247 Mich. 308, 311, 225 N.W. 552 (1929). We hold that the trial court's inference that the familial relationship between defendant and the complainant contributed ......
  • People v. Moss, Docket Nos. 19796
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • July 19, 1976
    ...facts the jury may draw reasonable inferences from the facts established by either direct or circumstantial evidence. People v. Weyonen, 247 Mich. 308, 311, 225 N.W. 552 'Juries, not appellate courts, see and hear witnesses and are in a much better position to decide the weight and credibil......
  • People v. Spann, 140
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • June 14, 1966
    ...elements of the crimes alleged was presented to the jury, its verdict must stand. As the Supreme Court said in People v. Weyonen (1929), 247 Mich. 308, 311, 225 N.W. 552, 'A jury may draw reasonable inferences from facts established either by direct or circumstantial evidence, But may not i......
  • State ex rel. Kanieski v. Gagnon, S
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • March 2, 1972
    ...191 N.W.2d at page 728. 15 See also: State v. Johnson (1960), 11 Wis.2d 130, 135 et seq., 104 N.W.2d 379. 16 People v. Weyonen (1929), 247 Mich. 308, 311, 225 N.W. 17 23 C.J.S. Criminal Law § 902, pp. 539, 540; Miller v. State (Fla.Sup.Ct.1954), 75 So.2d 312, 3159 18 Cf. State v. Muhammad (......
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