Reynolds v. State, 1069S226

Decision Date31 July 1970
Docket NumberNo. 1069S226,1069S226
Citation254 Ind. 478,260 N.E.2d 793
PartiesSue REYNOLDS alias Wanda Sue Reynolds, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Robert F. Craven, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Zaban, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

HUNTER, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal brought by appellant, Sue Reynolds, from a conviction in the Lawrence Circuit Court for the crime of abandonment of children. Trial was had to the court without the intervention of a jury and upon a finding of guilty as charged, appellant was fined in the sum of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and sentenced to the Lawrence County Jail for a term of thirty (30) days.

A timely motion for new trial was filed and was subsequently overruled by the trial court. Appellant's sole assignment of error presented in her appeal is the overruling of said motion for new trial. More specifically, appellant raises two questions for our determination:

(1) Did the Lawrence Circuit Court have jurisdiction of the particular case so as to render a valid judgment therein; and

(2) Was there sufficient evidence to sustain appellant's conviction for the crime charged?

The offense of abandonment of children is found at Ind.Ann.Stat. § 10--813 (1956 Repl.) and the penalty therefor is set out at Ind.Ann.Stat. § 10--815 (1969 Supp.). Appellant was charged by affidavit pursuant to said statutes which affidavit reads in pertinent part as follows:

'* * * one Wanda Sue Reynolds late of said County, being the mother of two children to wit: Richard Flick, age seven years and Mickey Reynolds, age two years, and having the care, custody and control over said children, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously, willfully abandon and forsake said children and did fail to care for and keep the control and custody of said children so that the said children were exposed to physical risk without proper and sufficient protection.'

The record in this case reveals the following: The defendant, Sue Reynolds lived with her mother in Orange County near the town of Orleans, Indiana. On the evening of August 21, 1968, at approximately 7:00 P.M., appellant left her home in the company of two male friends taking with her her two sons, Richard Flick and Mickey Reynolds. The record is totally devoid of any indication as to where appellant was going on that evening, or as to what she had done during the next fourteen hours. Furthermore there is nothing in the record to indicate that appellant had gone to Lawrence County or had been there at anytime during the evening of August 21st or the early morning hours of August 22nd.

Between 1:30 and 2:00 A.M. on August 22nd, the appellant's two sons Mickey and Richard wandered unaccompanied into Mom's Truck Stop located on State Road 60 in Lawrence County, Indiana. According to the testimony of witnesses, the physical condition of the boys was bad. They were dressed very scantily, one in 'training pants' and the other in 'little short pants'. Both were quite filthy. The 2 year old boy, Mickey Reynolds had defecated on himself and was covered with excrement over a large part of his body.

An employee of Mom's Truck Stop on duty at the time the boys arrived, Loretta Edmonson, testified that she sat the boys down in a booth and fed them. The boys remained at the truck stop until approximately 9 A.M. that morning at which time the state police were summoned to pick them up. They were taken by State Policeman James E. Richardson to the Lawrence County Jail where they were turned over to a caseworker of the Lawrence County Department of Public Welfare who took the children to a licensed foster home operated by the Department.

At no time during the time the two boys were at the truck stop did the appellant or anyone else make inquiry as to their whereabouts. At approximately 9:30 A.M., on the morning in question after the State Police had taken the boys away, appellant entered Mom's Truck Stop looking for them. According to witnesses she appeared 'distraught and concerned' over the plight of the children when she finally located them at the Lawrence County Jail.

Appellant's first allegation of error deals with the validity of the jurisdiction of the Lawrence Circuit Court. It is her contention that since there is no evidence whatsoever placing her in Lawrence County at anytime preceding the events in question, she could not be tried in that county. If appellant did in fact commit the crime of child abandonment, it must have occurred in Orange County and not Lawrence County. The fact that the children walked into a truck stop restaurant in a nearby county, appellant argues, does not, in and of itself establish that she ever committed any offense in that county. Appellant bases her allegation of error on Ind.Const. Art. I § 13 which reads:

'Rights of accused.--In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a public trial, by an impartial jury, in the county in which the offense shall have been committed * * *' (our emphasis)

and on Ind.Ann.Stat. § 9--201 (1956 Repl.) which reads:

'Place of trial.---Every criminal action shall be tried publicly in the county in which the offense shall have been committed, except as otherwise provided in this act.'

It is well settled that the question as to which of two courts of general jurisdiction should try a crime does not involve the jurisdiction of the subject matter, but only the place of trial. It is a question of venue and it may be waived by the defendant. Brown v. State (1941), 219 Ind. 251, 37 N.E.2d 73; Rogers v. State (1949), 227 Ind. 709, 88 N.E.2d 755; Green v. State (1952), 230 Ind. 400, 103 N.E.2d 429; Martin v. State (1966), 247 Ind. 592, 219 N.E.2d 902. In this case appellant objected to the venue of the Lawrence Circuit Court for the first time in her motion for new trial. In Indiana the objection that the action was brought in the wrong county, if not raised by answer or demurrer, shall be deemed...

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8 cases
  • Burgess v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • April 17, 1984
    ...discloses that defendant did not raise the question of venue until he did so in his Motion to Correct Errors. In Reynolds v. State, (1970) 254 Ind. 478, 260 N.E.2d 793, we held that a civil procedure statute was applicable and that an allegation of improper venue made for the first time in ......
  • Dunn v. State, 1171S319
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1973
    ...(1971), Ind., 276 N.E.2d 155, 158; Seats v. State (1970), 254 Ind. 457, 463--464, 260 N.E.2d 796, 799--800; Reynolds v. State (1970), 254 Ind. 478, 482--483, 260 N.E.2d 793, 795; See also Gunn v. State (1972), Ind., 281 N.E.2d 484, 485; Vaughn v. State (1971), Ind., 266 N.E.2d 219, 220. Alt......
  • Scalf v. State, 2-1179A355
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • August 26, 1981
    ...a conviction" within the purview of T.R. 50(A) (5). It is noted that our Supreme Court held in a criminal appeal, Reynolds v. State (1970) 254 Ind. 478, 260 N.E.2d 793, that a civil procedure statute requiring venue to be challenged by "answer or demurrer" was applicable and that an allegat......
  • Madden v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • February 12, 1990
    ...on appellant's conviction. Appellant claims the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction. He cites Reynolds v. State (1970), 254 Ind. 478, 260 N.E.2d 793 for the proposition that where circumstantial evidence must be relied upon for conviction, it must be so conclusive and compell......
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