Sheffield v. State, No. 34232

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtW. T. McDONALD; MORRISON
Citation371 S.W.2d 49,84 S.Ct. 45
Docket NumberNo. 34232
Decision Date03 October 1962
PartiesB. R. SHEFFIELD, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee.

Page 49

371 S.W.2d 49
B. R. SHEFFIELD, Appellant,
v.
The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
No. 34232.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas.
Oct. 3, 1962.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 9, 1963.
Second Rehearing Denied Feb. 13, 1963.
Certiorari Denied Oct. 14, 1963.
See 84 S.Ct. 45.

William B. Martin, Hillsboro, Ben Geeslin, Brady, Douglass D. Hearne, Cofer & Cofer, Austin, for appellant.

Les Procter, Dist. Atty., David S. McAngus, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Leon B. Douglas, State's Atty., Austin, for the State.

W. T. McDONALD, Judge.

Appellant was convicted of the offense of uttering and passing a forged instrument in writing relating to and affecting title to land. His punishment was assessed at confinement in the penitentiary for a term of six years.

Trial was had in the District Court of Hill County, Texas, after a change of venue from the District Court of Travis County, Texas. The cause was heretofore reversed by this court in Sheffield v. State, 165 Tex.Cr.R. 354, 307 S.W.2d 100, because the evidence was insufficient to show that the notary public taking the acknowledgment to the instrument alleged to be false was a duly qualified notary public, and for other reasons set forth in the opinion.

The statutes, Arts. 1006, 1007, and 1008 of the Vernon's Ann. Penal Code, under which appellant was convicted, were held constitutional in the opinion.

Attention being directed to the amendment of Art. 5421m, Vernon's Ann.Civ.St., in 1955, by the addition of Sec. 32 prescribing a penalty for the use of any false, fictitious, or forged instrument in writing in connection with or pertaining to any transaction under the Veterans Land Fund Act, the court gave application to the penalty prescribed in said section, the section being enacted by the legislature subsequent to the date of the offense charged against appellant and prescribing a lesser penalty than that prescribed in Art. 1006, supra.

We find no merit in appellant's contention that in enacting Sec. 32 of art. 5421m, supra, the legislature repealed Art. 1008, supra. A contrary intention was clearly expressed in Sec. 14 of the later act wherein it was provided that the provisions of the act were to be cumulative of all other laws not in conflict therewith.

The record in this case is perhaps one of the longest with which this court has been confronted. It contains some 3,800 pages. After carefully reviewing the entire record, we find that appellant's primary contention is that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. It is his contention that the evidence fails to show that the acknowledgment, as set out in the indictment, was 'falsely made' by the notary, Doris Sayles, or that it was made with any fraudulent intent.

Briefly summarizing the testimony, it reflects that the appellant had been engaged in what is known as 'block deals' under the Veterans Land Program of this state at Brady, Texas. Appellant and L. V. Ruffin secured applications from qualified veterans, paid them $100 each for the rights under the Veterans Land Program, submitted the application to the Veterans Land Office at Austin, Texas, purchasing the land on the sworn application of these various veterans without the veterans appearing before a notary public to swear to the applications pertaining to the acquisition of the land. The conviction in this cause was had on the transaction involving a veteran by the name of Alfonso G. Mireles. Mireles was a veteran living at Brady, Texas. He went to the office of L. V. Ruffin and signed an application. He testified that he did not read it, that he did not appear

Page 52

before Doris Sayles, that he never talked to her, that he did not want to buy any land, that he had never been in Kinney County, Texas, where the land involved in this transaction is located, that some nine months later he signed some papers for Mr. Ruffin, that Ruffin gave him a check for $100, that the final contract was acknowledged by Jerrie Rankin but he did not appear before Jerrie Rankin and did not know her.

The testimony of Doris Sayles, substantiated by a copy of the commission from the Secretary of State, adequately reflects that she was a notary public. She testified that Mireles did not appear before her but the acknowledgment reflects that she certified that he did.

The evidence adduced from the testimony of Doris Sayles and Mireles clearly shows that the acknowledgment was falsely made.

Art. 1007, V.A.P.C., which was the applicable statute at the time of the commission of the offense, provides that if any person authorized by law to take the proof of an acknowledgment to any instrument, document, or paper whatsoever, affecting or relating to the title of lands in this state, wilfully and falsely certifies to such proof or acknowledgment duly made, he shall be guilty of forgery. We hold that this article does not require any intent to defraud upon the part of the notary making a false certificate to an acknowledgment. We think the wilful making of a false acknowledgment is a forgery under the terms of the article. Appellant's contention is without merit.

Appellant further contends that the facts and circumstances are not sufficient to show that he was a principal and that there is no evidence that he uttered personally, published, passed, or used the alleged false or forged acknowledgment.

We think it unnecessary to here review the lengthy testimony as to the scheme or system used by appellant, Ruffin, and Bascom Giles in this and other transactions involving the purchase of large blocks or tracts of land and the division of the excess profits from the inflated values with intent to defraud. Suffice it to say that the testimony is more than adequate to establish the appellant as a principal in this transaction. Ruffin's testimony shows that appellant knew the applications of the various veterans were in blank. Ruffin testified that he secured more than 100 veterans' signatures to applications, approximately 54 of them being used in this transaction, and that the Rosenow Ranch involved in this transaction was in Kinney County and Mireles was to get his tract of land out of it. Ruffin's testimony further reflects that appellant suggested that they make different tracts so that it would look better; that appellant got the money from Brady National Bank; that appellant was to pay Ruffin some $20,000 but that appellant said he had to pay Giles $75,000 and that he reduced the amount that Ruffin was to receive.

Appellant testified that Ruffin laid the papers involving the Rosenow Ranch on his desk and talked to appellant's wife and said he wanted Doris to do some work for him; that Doris came in and asked where the papers were and appellant pointed them out to her; that he did not take the applications to Austin; that he did not know the law required the person making the acknowledgment to be present; and that such was not the practice in Brady, Texas.

The testimony of Doris Sayles, who was Mrs. Grover C. Cunningham at the time of this trial, reflects that appellant asked her to come to his office on many occasions in reference to notarizing the applications of veterans and that none of the veterans were ever before her when the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
30 practice notes
  • Shorter v. United States, No. 22360.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 11, 1969
    ...in the case and is a question of fact for the jury. Rossetti v. United States, 315 F.2d 86, 87 (9 Cir.), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 814, 84 S.Ct. 45, 11 L. Ed.2d 49 (1963); D'Argento v. United States, 353 F.2d 327, 333 (9 Cir. 1965), cert. denied, 384 U.S. 963, 86 S.Ct. 1591, 16 L.Ed.2d 675 In ......
  • Holladay v. State, No. 058-85
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • May 7, 1986
    ...discontinue its application. For clarity's sake, cases such as Warren v. State, 514 S.W.2d 458 (Tex.Cr.App.1974) and Sheffield v. State, 371 S.W.2d 49 (Tex.Cr.App.1963) which hold that the accomplice need not be corroborated as to every element of the offense should be mentioned. As previou......
  • Reed v. State, No. 64984
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • January 20, 1988
    ...the corroboration need only tend to connect the accused with the offense charged. Article 38.14, V.A.C.C.P.; Sheffield v. State, 371 S.W.2d 49 (Tex.Cr.App.1963), and make the accomplice's testimony more likely than not." (Emphasis supplied.) No authority was cited for this latter underlined......
  • Robinson v. United States, No. 17094.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 6, 1964
    ...v. United States, 324 F.2d 260, 263 (9 Cir. 1963); Rossetti v. United States, 315 F.2d 86, 87 (9 Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 814, 84 S.Ct. 45, 11 L.Ed.2d 49; Williams v. United States, 290 F.2d 451, 453 (9 Cir. 1961); Claypole v. United States, 280 F.2d 768, 771 (9 Cir. 1960); Butler ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Shorter v. United States, No. 22360.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 11, 1969
    ...in the case and is a question of fact for the jury. Rossetti v. United States, 315 F.2d 86, 87 (9 Cir.), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 814, 84 S.Ct. 45, 11 L. Ed.2d 49 (1963); D'Argento v. United States, 353 F.2d 327, 333 (9 Cir. 1965), cert. denied, 384 U.S. 963, 86 S.Ct. 1591, 16 L.Ed.2d 675 In ......
  • Holladay v. State, No. 058-85
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • May 7, 1986
    ...discontinue its application. For clarity's sake, cases such as Warren v. State, 514 S.W.2d 458 (Tex.Cr.App.1974) and Sheffield v. State, 371 S.W.2d 49 (Tex.Cr.App.1963) which hold that the accomplice need not be corroborated as to every element of the offense should be mentioned. As previou......
  • Reed v. State, No. 64984
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • January 20, 1988
    ...the corroboration need only tend to connect the accused with the offense charged. Article 38.14, V.A.C.C.P.; Sheffield v. State, 371 S.W.2d 49 (Tex.Cr.App.1963), and make the accomplice's testimony more likely than not." (Emphasis supplied.) No authority was cited for this latter underlined......
  • Robinson v. United States, No. 17094.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 6, 1964
    ...v. United States, 324 F.2d 260, 263 (9 Cir. 1963); Rossetti v. United States, 315 F.2d 86, 87 (9 Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 814, 84 S.Ct. 45, 11 L.Ed.2d 49; Williams v. United States, 290 F.2d 451, 453 (9 Cir. 1961); Claypole v. United States, 280 F.2d 768, 771 (9 Cir. 1960); Butler ......
  • 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