Perkins v. State, No. 26217.

Docket NºNo. 26217.
Citation207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136
Case DateJune 28, 1934
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

207 Ind. 119
191 N.E. 136

PERKINS
v.
STATE.

No. 26217.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

June 28, 1934.


Appeal from Hancock Circuit Court; Arthur C. Van Duyn, Judge.

Richard Perkins was convicted of murder in the first degree, and he appeals.

Affirmed.

[191 N.E. 137]


W. S. Henry, of Indianapolis, for appellant.

Jas. M. Ogden, Atty. Gen., for the State.


HUGHES, Chief Justice.

The appellant, Richard Perkins, was indicted by the Marion county grand jury upon one count for murder in the first degree. The cause was venued to the Hancock circuit court. The appellant, defendant below, upon his plea of not guilty, was tried by a jury, found guilty as charged, and sentenced to death by the judge of the Hancock circuit court.

The appellant was indicted and convicted for killing one Carl Heckman, a member of the Indianapolis police force, on January 3, 1931.

The error assigned by appellant is that the trial court erred in overruling appellant's motion and supplemental motion for a new trial.

The appellant assigns seven reasons for a new trial as follows:

(1) The court erred in overruling the defendant's motion to withdraw the case from the jury and discharge the defendant upon the grounds that the jury had been asked and had said that they would fix the penalty of death as a part of their verdict if the circumstances in their judgment warranted it.

(2) The court erred in instructing the jury that under an indictment for first degree murder they could only find him guilty or not guilty of first degree murder. That no lesser degree could be found by the jury against the defendant.

(3) The court erred in permitting evidence to be offered against the defendant of alleged robberies that were alleged to have been committed.

(4) The court erred in instructing the jury that, if the officers believed at the time of the alleged arrest that the defendant, Perkins, was in the act of committing a robbery, or was there for the purpose of committing a robbery, they were justified in making the arrest.

(5) That the verdict of the jury is not sustained by sufficient evidence.

(6) That the verdict of the jury is contrary to the evidence.

(7) The seventh reason being the same as the fifth and sixth.

The supplemental motion for a new trial presents six reasons, all relating to instructions; the appellant contends that the court erred in giving instructions 6, 34, 35, 36, and 42.

Under the first assignment of error, we do not think the court committed error in overruling the motion of the defendant to withdraw the case from the jury. In the instant case, it was the duty of the trial judge to fix the penalty for the crime for which the defendant was found guilty. That penalty was either death or life imprisonment, and it was certainly proper for the prosecuting attorney to ask the prospective jurors if they had any objection or conscientious scruples to the death penalty. If they had, and knowing that the court might inflict the death penalty, they might refuse to return a verdict of guilty, even though the evidence and the law might justify it.

The appellant contends that the court erred in permitting evidence to be introduced by the state against the defendant of alleged robberies he had committed.

The general rule may be stated without citation of authorities, that proof of collateral crimes is inadmissible, but there are exceptions to the rule. We believe that the evidence in the instant case is within the exception. The evidence clearly shows that the defendant, just prior to January 3, 1931, had robbed several drivers of laundry trucks; that on the night in question he and another party stopped by a laundry truck, and one of them looked in the truck, and the officers saw them. What then naturally operated on the defendant's mind? The answer is plain and conclusive. A guilty conscience told him that the officers suspected him of being guilty of the robberies he had committed; he knew that the officers were looking for the perpetrators of the felonies; and he was prepared, if caught, to fight it out. And, when spoken to by the officers, he drew his gun and killed Officer Heckman, not in self–defense, as he

[191 N.E. 138]

claims, but, as he thought, to resist arrest for the felonies he had committed. This was his motive in the killing, and the evidence admitted was proper to show the motive.

It has been held that evidence introduced to prove the motive of the crime for which the accused is on trial points him out as guilty of an independent and totally dissimilar offense is not enough to bring about its rejection, if it is otherwise competent. Anderson v. State (Ind. Sup.) 186 N. E. 316. It has also been held that it may be shown that the victim of a homicide, for which the defendant is on trial, was a police officer, or other person who, when killed, was engaged in investigating the circumstances of...

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9 practice notes
  • Madison v. State, No. 29188
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 4, 1955
    ...death. Stice v. State, 1950, 228 Ind. 144, 89 N.E.2d 915; Mosier v. State, 1942, 219 Ind. 669, 40 N.E.2d 698; Perkins v. State, 1934, 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136; Ewbank's Indiana [234 Ind. 525] Criminal Law (2d Ed.) § 889, p. 672, and authorities cited therein.' Myles v. State, Ind. 1955, 1......
  • Sisk v. State, No. 28821
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 20, 1953
    ...cause.' The last-cited case states the rule followed today. Arthur v. State, 1949, 227 Ind. 493, 86 N.E.2d 698; Perkins v. State, 1934, 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136; Pettit v. State, 1935, 207 Ind. 478, 188 N.E. [232 Ind. 223] The record reveals the following: Frank F. McDonald, Sheriff of Va......
  • Myles v. State, No. 29116
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 15, 1955
    ...v. State, 1950, 228 Ind. 144, 89 N.E.2d 915; Mosier v. State, 1942, 219 Ind. 669, 40 N.E.2d 698; [234 Ind. 134] Perkins v. State, 1934, 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136; Ewbank's Indiana Criminal Law (2d Ed.) § 889, p. 672, and authorities cited therein. The verdict was sustained by sufficient ev......
  • Jones v. State, No. 03S00-8910-PC-773
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 19, 1991
    ...malice is an essential element of the crime of murder of which appellant Jones stands convicted and confined. Perkins v. State (1934), 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136. Consequently, it is infirm and a denial of due process in a trial on this charge to read an instruction which kept malice entire......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Madison v. State, No. 29188
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 4, 1955
    ...death. Stice v. State, 1950, 228 Ind. 144, 89 N.E.2d 915; Mosier v. State, 1942, 219 Ind. 669, 40 N.E.2d 698; Perkins v. State, 1934, 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136; Ewbank's Indiana [234 Ind. 525] Criminal Law (2d Ed.) § 889, p. 672, and authorities cited therein.' Myles v. State, Ind. 1955, 1......
  • Sisk v. State, No. 28821
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 20, 1953
    ...cause.' The last-cited case states the rule followed today. Arthur v. State, 1949, 227 Ind. 493, 86 N.E.2d 698; Perkins v. State, 1934, 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136; Pettit v. State, 1935, 207 Ind. 478, 188 N.E. [232 Ind. 223] The record reveals the following: Frank F. McDonald, Sheriff of Va......
  • Myles v. State, No. 29116
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 15, 1955
    ...v. State, 1950, 228 Ind. 144, 89 N.E.2d 915; Mosier v. State, 1942, 219 Ind. 669, 40 N.E.2d 698; [234 Ind. 134] Perkins v. State, 1934, 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136; Ewbank's Indiana Criminal Law (2d Ed.) § 889, p. 672, and authorities cited therein. The verdict was sustained by sufficient ev......
  • Jones v. State, No. 03S00-8910-PC-773
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 19, 1991
    ...malice is an essential element of the crime of murder of which appellant Jones stands convicted and confined. Perkins v. State (1934), 207 Ind. 119, 191 N.E. 136. Consequently, it is infirm and a denial of due process in a trial on this charge to read an instruction which kept malice entire......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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