Renfro v. State

Decision Date21 January 1980
Docket NumberNo. F-77-332,F-77-332
Citation607 P.2d 703
PartiesWilliam Carl RENFRO, Appellant, v. The STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee.
CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

CORNISH, Presiding Judge:

The appellant was convicted of Murder in the Second Degree in the District Court, Creek County, Case No. CRF-76-46. His punishment was fixed at ten (10) years to life imprisonment. On appeal, he complains of the denial of a continuance which he requested for time to prepare for trial, and challenges the sufficiency of the State's evidence.


The trial judge held a pretrial evidentiary hearing on the appellant's motion for a continuance. The basis of the motion was that the transcript of the preliminary hearing had not been prepared as ordered. The testimony of the defense counsel and that of the court reporter were in sharp conflict as to what parts of the preliminary hearing were requested and at what time the request for the transcript had been made. The appellant's attorney claimed that on June 16, 1976, he requested a transcript at State expense. He said that his request was orally approved by the judge and that said approval was on the record being taken by the court reporter. (At that time a request for a transcript without a written order was deemed a proper procedure.) The attorney further asserted that he made repeated demands upon the court reporter for the transcript and repeatedly was promised a transcript, but that it was never delivered.

On the other hand, Brent Barnes, the court reporter, testified that the transcript had never been directed to be prepared at the expense of the State; but he did admit that three or four weeks before the trial defense counsel requested a transcript of the testimony of Frances Silvers, the State's principal witness. That portion of the trial transcript was delivered to defense counsel on the day of the trial.

After hearing the conflicting testimony, the trial judge denied the continuance.

We have recognized that an accused is entitled to a transcript of a preliminary hearing where it is needed for cross-examination of prosecuting witnesses. Bryant v. State, Okl.Cr., 471 P.2d 948 (1970). The accused is also entitled to a reasonable time to prepare for trial. Riddle v. State, Okl.Cr., 374 P.2d 634 (1962). However, a motion for a continuance is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial judge, and the ruling thereon will not be disturbed on appeal unless an abuse of discretion is apparent. Hill v. State, Okl.Cr., 567 P.2d 516 (1977); Lamb v. State, Okl.Cr., 560 P.2d 583 (1977).

The Court must consider the grounds on which the application is made, in light of the circumstances of the case. Here, the attorney was present at the preliminary hearing and the tapes of that hearing were available, but not requested. In view of the apparent conflicts between the testimony of the court reporter and the defendant's attorney, it cannot be said that the trial court abused its discretion.


The appellant attacks the sufficiency of the evidence presented against him at trial. The second alleged error concerns both the trial court's failure to sustain the appellant's demurrer and the jury instructions on circumstantial evidence. In this regard, the appellant argues that the State's case was constructed entirely of circumstantial evidence, but did not eliminate every reasonable possibility except that of guilt. The third alleged error is that the verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence.

A demurrer to the evidence (properly called a motion for a directed verdict) admits for the sake of argument the facts which the State's evidence tends to prove. If there is any competent evidence reasonably supporting the allegations of the charge, the demurrer should not be sustained. Speegle v. State, Okl.Cr., 556 P.2d 1045 (1976). We have consistently held that where there is evidence from which the jury could conclude that the defendant was guilty as charged, we will not interfere with the verdict even though there may be sharp conflicts in the evidence. See, for instance, Sadler v. State, 84 Okl.Cr. 97, 179 P.2d 479 (1947), and Glover v. State, Okl.Cr., 557 P.2d 922 (1976).

When the sufficiency of the evidence presented at trial is challenged on appeal, as it is here, the proper test is whether a prima facie case has been established. If that...

To continue reading

Request your trial
94 cases
  • Robinson v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 11, 1995 the province of the jury. Hollan v. State, 676 P.2d 861 (Okl.Cr.1984); Dodson v. State, 674 P.2d 57 (Okl.Cr.1984); Renfro v. State, 607 P.2d 703 (Okl.Cr.1980). The task of resolving this conflict (weight and credibility of a witness' testimony) is not an appellate task. The job is proper......
  • Snow v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 31, 1994 contradicted, the jury, as the trier of fact, determines who to believe. Raymond v. State, 717 P.2d 1147 (Okl.Cr.1986); Renfro v. State, 607 P.2d 703 (Okl.Cr.1980). Where the record supports the jury's verdict, the verdict will not be disturbed on appeal. We find the jury verdict is supp......
  • Myers v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • December 8, 2000
    ...witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony is within the exclusive province of the jury. Renfro v. State, 1980 OK CR 6, ¶ 12, 607 P.2d 703, 706. Further, we accept all reasonable inferences and credibility choices which tend to support the jury's verdict. Washington v. State, 1986......
  • Liles v. State, F-83-427
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • June 20, 1985
    ...circumstance. The test on appeal for the sufficiency of evidence is whether a prima facie case has been established. Renfro v. State, 607 P.2d 703 (Okl.Cr.1980). If that test is satisfied, then the jury must resolve the questions of fact. Id. The nature and circumstances of the killing itse......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT