Peterson v. State

Decision Date07 April 1948
Docket NumberA-10971.
Citation192 P.2d 286,86 Okla.Crim. 302
CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

Appeal from District Court, Oklahoma County; Lewis R. Morris, Judge.

Frank Ford Peterson was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree, and he appeals.


Syllabus by the Court.

1. In considering the sufficiency of the evidence, the function of the Criminal Court of Appeals is limited to ascertaining whether there is a basis in evidence on which jury can reasonably conclude that accused is guilty as charged.

2. Evidence was sufficient to sustain conviction for first degree manslaughter, based on death caused by blows inflicted on head and body with board.

3. When deceased brought on the difficulty, but in good faith withdrew therefrom and fled, and the defendant pursued overtook and inflicted fatal wounds upon deceased, the defendant can not successfully plead self-defense.

4. Where misconduct of a juror comes to the knowledge of counsel during the progress of the trial and such fact is withheld and no objection made until after the verdict, such misconduct, unless it constitutes fundamental error, is waived.

H. M Redwine, David A. Kline, and Garland H. Hope, all of Oklahoma City, for plaintiff in error.

Mac Q. Williamson, Atty. Gen., Sam H. Lattimore, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Warren H. Edwards, Co. Atty., of Oklahoma City, for defendant in error.

BAREFOOT Presiding Judge.

Defendant, Frank Ford Peterson, was charged by indictment in the district court of Oklahoma county with the crime of murder; was tried, convicted of manslaughter in the first degree and sentenced by the court to serve a term of seven years in the state penitentiary, and has appealed.

The first assignment of error is that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the judgment and sentence, and that the court erred in refusing sustain a demurrer to the evidence. This necessitates a brief statement of the evidence.

Defendant was charged with killing James Brown in Oklahoma City on May 18, 1947, 'by beating the said James Brown on and about the head and body with a certain piece of 2-inch board, approximately 4 inches wide and 6 feet long,' inflicting mortal wounds which caused the instant death of the said James Brown. All of the parties involved were members of the Negro race, and lived in Oklahoma City.

Defendant, 47 years of age, resided with his wife, who was 27 years old, in half of a duplex, located at 1112 South Harvey, near southwest Eleventh Street, In Oklahoma City. They had six children, from three months to seven years of age. On the night of May 17, 1947, defendant's wife left their home with his consent, and the understanding that she would return by twelve o'clock. She soon met up with James Brown, with whom the evidence revealed she had been keeping company for a period of two years. Together they visited several 'night spots,' drinking beer, and about three o'clock in the morning went to a hotel and entered a room therein. The wife of defendant, according to her testimony, left the room about four thirty in the morning, and went to the home of a friend, Mamie Holland, being afraid to go home at that hour. Prior to her arrival there, and about four o'clock that morning, her husband, the defendant, had gone to this place to borrow money for the purpose of buying milk for the baby. He did not get any money and returned to his home, but later went back, and found his wife there, and they returned to their home together, between six and seven o'clock in the morning. Some time around nine o'clock James Brown appeared at the home of the defendant and was admitted. Some conversation took place, and he left, but returned about ten or ten thirty that morning. The defendant and his wife engaged in a quarrel, and James Brown and the defendant had a fight in the house. Defendant went out the door, and was standing on the outside, inviting Brown to come out of the house, and stating, as testified by a disinterested witness, Robert Lee Bradford, 'Come on out, I am going to kill you.' He at that time had the board above-described in his hand. Brown came out of the door with a broom in his hands, and was running from the defendant. When he had gone some twenty to twenty-five feet from the defendant, he fell, and before he was able to get up, the defendant struck him with the board. He was struck on the head and body five times. From the results of these blows he died.

The witness Bradford was an eyewitness to the killing, and was a very fair and impartial witness. He lived on the other side of the duplex occupied by the defendant. His testimony was fully corroborated by Robert E. Lee, who was an eyewitness to the killing. Both of these witnesses testified that deceased was struck by the defendant while he was trying to get up, after falling, and that after striking him a number of times, defendant turned and walked away. He was arrested soon thereafter by the police officers, who were called to investigate the difficulty.

A written statement was made by the defendant to the officers and the same was admitted in evidence, without objection. It is unnecessary to quote or refer to it. Under the defendant's own statement, as well as the testimony of his wife who...

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3 cases
  • Doser v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 9 Febrero 1949
    ... ... bar cannot be denied. But, this court never weighs the ... evidence, under the conditions herein involved. Chapman ... v. State, Okl.Cr.App., 178 P.2d 638, not yet reported in ... state reports; Sadler v. State, Okl.Cr.App., 179 ... P.2d 479, not yet reported in state reports; Peterson v ... State, Okl.Cr.App., 192 P.2d 286, not yet reported in ... State reports; To weigh the evidence is the responsibility of ... the jury in any trial. Under such conditions the function of ... his court, within our power, is to see that the defendant who ... seeks appellate aid is accorded ... ...
  • Wingfield v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 30 Marzo 1949
    ... ... the evidence is limited to ascertaining whether there is a ... basis in the evidence on which the jury can reasonably ... conclude that the defendant is guilty as charged. Ray v ... State, Okl.Cr.App., 189 P.2d 620, not yet reported in ... State Reports; Peterson v. State, Okl.Cr.App., 192 ... P.2d 286, not yet reported in State Reports. Moreover, it has ... been held that the evidence ... [205 P.2d 325] ... is sufficient unless there is no testimony in the record from ... which the jury reasonably could conclude that the defendant ... was guilty ... ...
  • Coe v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 7 Abril 1948

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