Pruitt v. State

Decision Date20 March 1984
Docket Number7 Div. 164
Citation457 So.2d 454
PartiesTalmadge PRUITT v. STATE.
CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals

John Baker, Fort Payne, for appellant.

Charles A. Graddick, Atty. Gen. and J. Anthony McLain and James F. Hampton, Sp. Asst. Attys. Gen., for appellee.

TAYLOR, Judge.

Talmadge Pruitt was convicted by a DeKalb County jury of the offense of burglary in the first degree and sentenced by the court to ten years' imprisonment in the penitentiary. The facts as adduced by state's evidence are unusual. At 6:30 a.m. on April 4, Mr. Tom Fricks received a phone call from appellant Talmadge Pruitt, who asked Fricks when he was leaving to go into town. Appellant then verified with Fricks that the Frickses' son had gone away camping overnight. Just after Fricks left his house, the victim in this case, Mrs. Ramola Fricks, heard her door bell at her garage door ring. She testified that only strangers used her front door, since everyone who knew them used the garage door to enter the home.

Mrs. Fricks went to the garage door, which then swung open, and a man stepped into the house. Mrs. Fricks described him as being a very large man wearing blue and white tennis shoes and a ski mask with a stocking underneath the mask. He grabbed Mrs. Fricks, put her arms behind her back, stuck a gun in her side and began punching and pushing her around the house. She said to him, "Talmadge, if money is what you want, there lays one." The man continued to push her around the house, made her get on her knees and tied a blindfold on her. She could see around the blindfold. After forcing her to lie on the bed and pull her panties off, he yanked her gown up around her neck, and felt her. She told him that her doctor had said that if any man "bothered her" within the next few weeks she would bleed to death. The intruder then told her to get on her knees at the foot of the bed, and proceeded to expose his penis. Mrs. Fricks then told the man, "No, I am not going to do this." He again began to jerk and push her, she grabbed for his gun and he finally wrested it from her grasp, cutting her thumb severely.

Thrown to the floor, she began crawling away, telling the man to go ahead and kill her, that she was going to get out of the house. She jumped out the window and ran toward her neighbor's house. The neighbor to whose house she retreated said that he found her running down the garden in her gown with blood all over her. She told him that someone had just broken in her house and that she knew who it was but she just couldn't believe it. She identified the appellant as the perpetrator. She later stated she had known him since 1957 and had known him so long she could recognize him by his movements without seeing his face and that she also recognized his voice.

Tom Price, an investigator with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, found a pillow at the home of the victim which did not belong to her. He took the pillow to the residence of the appellant where the appellant's wife, in his presence, identified the pillow as belonging to them.

The defense was one of alibi.

I

Appellant contends first that the court should have charged the jury on the lesser included offenses of burglary in the second degree and criminal trespass in the first degree. The state, citing Williams v. State, 377 So.2d 634 (Ala.Cr.App.), writ denied, 377 So.2d 639 (Ala.1979), argues that where a defendant denies the event in toto, the court is not obliged to charge on a lesser included offense.

The appellant admits the validity of this argument but contends that the rule is unconstitutional. We disagree. In our judgment, the court conformed to the law and committed...

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6 cases
  • Daniels v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 26, 1985
    ...Appeals that 'where the defendant denies the event in toto, the court is not obliged to charge on a lesser included offense.' 457 So.2d 454 (Ala.Crim.App.1979). The accused is entitled to have the trial court charge on lesser included offenses where there is a reasonable theory from the evi......
  • Fordham v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • September 9, 1986
    ...the discretion of the trial judge. It should not be argued to the jury. Warden v. State, 468 So.2d 203 (Ala.Cr.App.1985); Pruitt v. State, 457 So.2d 454 (Ala.Cr.App.), cert. denied, 457 So.2d 456 (Ala.1984); Yancey v. State, 446 So.2d 686 Appellant contends that it was error for the trial c......
  • Allen v. State, 4 Div. 699
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • September 20, 1988
    ...from the evidence to support his position, "regardless of whether the State or the defendant offers the evidence." Pruitt v. State, 457 So.2d 454, 457 (Ala.Cr.App.1984), cert. denied, Ex parte Pruitt, 457 So.2d 456 (Ala.1984), citing Chavers, supra. Every accused is entitled to have charges......
  • McConnico v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • December 30, 1988
    ...from the evidence to support his position 'regardless of whether the State or the defendant offers the evidence.' Pruitt v. State, 457 So.2d 454, 457 (Ala.Cr.App.1984), cert. denied, Ex parte Pruitt, 457 So.2d 456 (Ala.1984), citing Chavers, supra. Every accused is entitled to have charges ......
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