Siblisk v. State, No. 1074S207

Docket NºNo. 1074S207
Citation263 Ind. 651, 336 N.E.2d 650
Case DateNovember 07, 1975
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 650

336 N.E.2d 650
263 Ind. 651
Patrick SIBLISK, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 1074S207.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Nov. 7, 1975.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 16, 1976.

[263 Ind. 652]

Page 651

Stephen J. Cuthbert, Tippecanoe Public Defender, Lafayette, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert F. Colker, Asst. Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

ARTERBURN, Justice.

The Appellant, Patrick Siblisk, was convicted on April 22, 1974, of the first degree murder of one Kenneth Woods. Evidence at trial revealed that Woods and the Appellant had shared an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana. In the early morning hours of Monday, October 25, 1973, the two men quarreled at their apartment. The Appellant ordered Woods to leave. When Woods refused and instead reclined on the floor, the Appellant shot him in the head with a shotgun.

An indictment charging the Appellant with first degree murder was filed on December 12, 1973. The Appellant was arraigned on January 10, 1974, at which time he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial court appointed[263 Ind. 653] two psychiatrists to examine the Appellant. Trial by jury commenced on April 17, 1974, and on April 22, 1974, the jury returned its verdict of guilty. Sentenced on May 8, 1974, to life imprisonment, the Appellant filed his Motion to Correct Errors on July 8, 1974. This motion was denied on July 29, 1974, and the Appellant thus now presents this appeal.

I.

The Appellant's first claim of error concerns the trial court's Preliminary Instructions 1 and 4. Preliminary Instruction No. 1 set out verbatim the grand jury indictment of Appellant.

Preliminary Instruction No. 4 reads:

'The indictment in this case is, of itself, a mere accusation and charge against the defendant, and is not of itself any evidence of guilt of the defendant. No juror in this case should permit himself to be influenced against the defendant to any extent, because or on account of the indictment in this cause.'

The Appellant maintains that Preliminary Instruction No. 1 is confusing and apt to mislead the jury because it presents a prejudicial implication of guilt: that 'good and lawful' grand jurors, 'duly and legally impaneled, charged and sworn,' concluded 'on their oaths' that the defendant was guilty. It is contended that Preliminary Instruction No. 4 does not sufficiently contradict this implication.

We find no merit in these contentions. Any charge by affidavit or indictment brings with it the knowledge that, obviously, someone thought the defendant sufficiently guilty to stand trial. The formal language of the indictment in this case is no more damaging than a simple statement that the defendant was indicted by a duly constituted grand jury. Preliminary Instruction No. 4 gives a correct statement of the law. We find no error.

Page 652

II.

Prosecution witness Terry Croy was asked on direct examination about a conversation with the Appellant. When he [263 Ind. 654] replied that he did not have the faintest idea of what was said, the prosecution embarked on a series of allegedly leading questions to refresh his memory. The Appellant's objections that the questions were leading were repeatedly overruled and the Appellant finds reversible error in these rulings.

The particular questions cited by the Appellant as objectionable are contained in the following dialogue:

'Q And what did you say and what did he say at that particular time?

A I don't have the faintest idea. You know, 'Hi. How are you? How's it going?' you know.

Q Okay. Did he make any statements to you about going to Arizona?

A Yeah. I--I think he mentioned to me that he'd like to go to Arizona, you know. He wanted to leave Lafayette, you know. People're always talking about leaving if you've been anywhere else.

Q Did he want to take your little boy with him and you to Arizona?

A Then he said we could take my little boy with us, you know.

Q And what about...

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20 practice notes
  • Norton v. State, No. 377S185
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Agosto 1980
    ...matter of trial court discretion. Reversible error will be found only upon a showing of abuse of that discretion. Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, 652. Questions intended in good faith to refresh the memory of a witness by directing his attention to persons and oc......
  • Lawson v. State, No. 1177S797
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 25 Noviembre 1980
    ...matter of trial court discretion. Reversible error will be found only upon a showing of abuse of that discretion. Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, 652. Questions intended in good faith to refresh the memory of a witness by directing his attention to persons and oc......
  • Clayton v. State, No. 2--476A165
    • United States
    • 22 Septiembre 1976
    ...most favorable to the State, together with reasonable and logical inferences which may be drawn therefrom. Siblisk v. State (1975) Ind., 336 N.E.2d 650; Lisenko v. State (3d Dist. 1976), Ind.App., 345 N.E.2d 869. It was, however, incumbent upon the State at trial to present sufficient evide......
  • Hoskins v. State, No. 281S32
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Noviembre 1982
    ...and was not required to strike the entire testimony of the witness. The rule followed by this Court was stated in Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, "Whether a leading question is to be allowed is largely a matter of trial court discretion. Reversible error will be ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Norton v. State, No. 377S185
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Agosto 1980
    ...matter of trial court discretion. Reversible error will be found only upon a showing of abuse of that discretion. Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, 652. Questions intended in good faith to refresh the memory of a witness by directing his attention to persons and oc......
  • Lawson v. State, No. 1177S797
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 25 Noviembre 1980
    ...matter of trial court discretion. Reversible error will be found only upon a showing of abuse of that discretion. Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, 652. Questions intended in good faith to refresh the memory of a witness by directing his attention to persons and oc......
  • Clayton v. State, No. 2--476A165
    • United States
    • 22 Septiembre 1976
    ...most favorable to the State, together with reasonable and logical inferences which may be drawn therefrom. Siblisk v. State (1975) Ind., 336 N.E.2d 650; Lisenko v. State (3d Dist. 1976), Ind.App., 345 N.E.2d 869. It was, however, incumbent upon the State at trial to present sufficient evide......
  • Hoskins v. State, No. 281S32
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Noviembre 1982
    ...and was not required to strike the entire testimony of the witness. The rule followed by this Court was stated in Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, "Whether a leading question is to be allowed is largely a matter of trial court discretion. Reversible error will be ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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