Reynolds v. State

Decision Date13 November 1906
Citation52 Fla. 409,42 So. 373
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Error to Circuit Court, Bradford County; Rhydom M. Call, Judge.

Richard Reynolds was convicted of violation of the liquor law, and brings error. Affirmed.

Syllabus by the Court


Under the rule that indirect, collateral, or circumstantial evidence is admissible when it tends to elucidate the inquiry, or to assist, though remotely, to a determination probably founded in truth, it is proper in a prosecution for illegally selling liquor, to admit in evidence jugs which smelled as if they had had whisky in them, found at defendant's place of business when he was arrested under the charge. Upon the same principle, papers acknowledging the receipt of orders for whisky, and a letter, offering commissions on sales of liquor, found at his place of business a few days after his arrest, are admissible in evidence, their probative force and effect to be determined by the jury in connection with other evidence.

In a prosecution for illegally selling liquors, where there is evidence that the defendant was acting for the purchaser, and also evidence of the delivery of liquor and the receipt of money therefor by the defendant from the purchaser, in the county and on the day alleged in the information, it is for the jury to determine whether or not it was a sale, under proper instructions from the court.


C. C. Thomas, for plaintiff in error.

W. H Ellis, Atty. Gen., for the State. The plaintiff in error was convicted in the circuit court for Bradford county upon an information under chapter 4930, Acts of 1901 (Laws 1901, p. 58), charging him with selling liquor in said county on or about August 26, 1905, after an election had been held in the county forbidding the sale of liquor therein.

At the trial Emma Milton for the state testified that she knew Richard Reynolds; that she went to his restaurant in Bradford county, Fla., with Willie Pournell about 9 o'clock on Saturday night August 26th, and got 10 cents worth of whisky from him; that she went up to where Richard Reynolds was standing behind the counter, and told him she wanted some whisky; that she put 15 cents down on the counter and he picked it up, but gave here back 5 cents; that he poured some liquor in a half-pint bottle, about half full (the bottle was identified by the witness with the same amount of the whisky in it); that she had gotten liquor before that from him; that about 6 o'clock Thursday afternoon previous she got a quart of whisky from him; that on Thursday morning she sent 75 cents to Richard Reynolds by Alva Leonard to get a quart of whisky, but he did not have it, and she did get it until after the 4:40 train came in that afternoon from Jacksonville; that he sent her word it would be there on the afternoon train from Jacksonville, so in the afternoon after that train had come, she went down there, and he said that it had come, and gave her a quart of whisky in a bottle (identified). On cross-examination this witness testified that nobody except Lewis Sheely who works in the restaurant for Richard Reynolds was at the restaurant on the Thursday night, but on Saturday night Will Pournell, who went with her, and Lewis Sheely were there; that she had never been to Richard Reynolds' restaurant before that Thursday afternoon, and did not know him before that; that she had no previous conversation with him in regard to ordering any whisky from Jacksonville for her; that she did not go down to his place on the Monday before and make arrangements with him to order her some whisky from Jacksonville; that she never spoke to him in her life before she went down there that Thursday night; that she did not say to Dunk Mack that she had gotten Richard Reynolds to order a quart of whisky for her from Jacksonville; that she did not have any conversation with Margarite Mack Sunday morning August 27th, in which she offered her $5 if she would swear that she was present and saw Richard Reynolds sell her some whisky; that she was not with Margarite Mack that Sunday morning.

Will Pournell corroborated the testimony of the previous witness except in testifying that Emma Milton asked Richard Reynolds 'to give her 15 cents worth of whisky, and he said that he could not do it. I did see him given her a bottle like that about half full of whisky.' On cross he testified 'I did not see her give him any money. I could have seen it if she had done so. Lewis Sheely and myself both were there, and both of us saw them all the time.' The testimony of this witness was corroborated by Lewis Sheely, a witness for the defendant.

J. P Bennett testified that he is sheriff of the county; that he arrested Richard Reynolds on Monday morning after the Saturday, August 26th, on a warrant charging him with selling liquor; that he 'found under the counter stowed away with a lot of rubbish over them a lot of jugs; * * * they were empty, but I smelled them, and they smelled as if they had had whisky in them. I think that in two or three of them I found several drops of whisky in them.' Seven jugs identified by this witness, were offered in evidence, but defendant objected to such introduction because (1) 'said evidence was irrelevant and immaterial; (2) the jugs were empty, some of them contained a few drops of whisky, and not in such quantity as to be prima facie evidence of the defendant's guilt; (3) there was no evidence as to when this defendant received said jugs containing any liquor, if he did so, and that their introduction would prejudice the interest of the defendant upon this trial.' The objections were overruled, and the jugs were admitted in evidence, the defendant noting an exception.

Lacey Austin testified that he went to Richard Reynolds' place of business, a restaurant, a few days after he was arrested, and a boy named Sheely, who worked for Reynolds, was there; that he saw a trunk in the restaurant and, looking into it, found 'a lot of receipts for orders in Richard Reynolds' name;' also a letter addressed to Richard Reynolds, and signed by Chas. Blum. The letter is as follows:

'Chas. Blum & Co., Wholesale Dealers in Pabst Brewing Co.'s Milwaukee Lager Beer, Jacksonville, Fla., 8/9, 1905.

'Mr. R. H. Reynolds--Dear Sir: We will allow you 10% on all jug orders cash with order, 5% on case goods--Money must be with order.


Chas. Blum.'

The 'receipts for orders' offered as evidence were letters addressed to Richard Reynolds from Chas. Blum & Co., acknowledging receipt of remittances for liquor on August 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24, and 26, 1905.

The defendant objected to the introduction of the letter in evidence because (1) 'It purported to be a letter written by Chas. Blum to this defendant making a proposition to him, of which there was no evidence of any acquiescence in by defendant; that it in no way committed him, nor was it shown to have come into his possession by due course of mail or otherwise, nor was it shown to have been written by Chas. Blum; (2) it is irrelevant and immaterial, and in no sense pertinent to the issue joined, but only tended to prejudice the interest of the defendant.' The objection was overruled, the letter was admitted in evidence, and the defendant noted an exception.

The defendant objected to the introduction of the 'receipts for orders' in evidence because (1) 'said papers were printed circulars with the name of the alleged sender printed and not written, were not original letters, and there was no evidence showing that they were ever received by mail or otherwise from Chas. Blum & Co., or that Chas. Blum & Co. had ever sent any such papers to the defendant; (2) they are irrelevant and immaterial inasmuch as they do not show or tend to show the defendant's guilt.' The objections were overruled, the 'receipts for orders' were admitted in evidence, and the defendant noted an exception.

Alva Leonard, a witness for the defendant testified that on Thursday before August 26th, Emma Milton asked him to take 75 cents to Reynolds; that he 'took it down to Richard Reynolds' restaurant, and gave him the 75 cents that Emma Milton had sent to him for him to order some medicine for her from Jacksonville. He took the money.'

Dunk Mack, a witness for the defendant, testified that Emma Milton told him that she had a quart of whisky 'that she had gotten Mr. Reynolds to order it for her from Jacksonville.'

Margarite Mack for the defendant testified that Emma Milton offered her $5 to swear she saw Richard Reynolds sell Emma some whisky.

Hans Austin for the defense testified that he had received from Chas. Blum a letter similar to the one in evidence about the same date, and that he had not sold any liquor, though he was in the liquor business some years ago.

The defendant, in his own behalf, testified that Emma Milton came to his restaurant on Monday before the Thursday he 'ordered some liquor for her;' that she asked where she could get some liquor, and he replied that he did not know unless she ordered it from Jacksonville as he did every other day and sometimes every day; that she said she would get him to order a quart for her; that, on Tuesday morning Alva...

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13 cases
  • White v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • May 21, 1910
    ... ... reference to the litigated fact. It is enough if these may ... tend, even in a slight degree, to elucidate the inquiry, or ... to assist, though remotely, to a determination probably ... founded in truth.' [59 Fla. 55] Mobley v. State, ... 41 Fla. 621, 26 So. 732; Reynolds v. State, 52 Fla ... 409, 42 So. 373 ... In a ... prosecution for murder, evidence as to the particulars or ... merits of a previous difficulty between the defendant and the ... deceased, not within the issues being tried, is not ... admissible. Sylvester v. State, 46 Fla. 166, ... ...
  • State v. Sheeler
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 25, 1928
    ...It does not clearly appear from the opinion that this discovery was made after the sale, but it is reasonable to assume so. In Reynolds v. State, 42 So. 373, proof that empty jugs, smelling strongly of whiskey and upon his premises at the time of defendant's arrest after the sale, was held ......
  • State v. Provencher
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1916
    ... ... not innocent. The rule that an agent [135 Minn. 216] acting ... in good faith is not guilty of an offense obtains, though he ... makes the purchase in dry territory where all sales are ... forbidden by positive law. State v. Turner, 83 Kan ... 183, 109 P. 983; Reynolds v. State, 52 Fla. 409, 42 ... So. 373; Hiers v. State, 52 Fla. 25, 41 So. 881; ... Bonds v. State, 130 Ala. 117, 30 So. 427; ... Cunningham v. State, 105 Ga. 676, 31 S.E. 585; ... Simpson v. Commonwealth, 151 Ky. 442, 152 S.W. 255; ... Lee v. Commonwealth, 143 Ky. 355, 136 S.W. 624; ... ...
  • State v. Provencher
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1916
    ...makes the purchase in dry territory where all sales are forbidden by positive law. State v. Turner, 83 Kan. 183, 109 Pac. 983;Reynolds v. State, 52 Fla. 409,42 South. 373;Hiers v. State, 52 Fla. 25,41 South. 881;Bonds v. State, 130 Ala. 117,30 South. 427;Cunningham v. State, 105 Ga. 676, 31......
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