Smith v. State, 131

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Citation207 A.2d 493,237 Md. 573
Docket NumberNo. 131,131
PartiesJames Francis SMITH v. STATE of Maryland.
Decision Date03 March 1965

Page 573

237 Md. 573
207 A.2d 493
James Francis SMITH
STATE of Maryland.
No. 131.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
March 3, 1965.

Page 575

Morris Lee Kaplan, Baltimore (Michael Lee Kaplan, Baltimore, on the brief), for appellant.

David T. Mason, Asst. Atty. Gen., Baltimore (Thomas B. Finan, Atty. Gen., Charles E. Moylan, Jr., and Edward G. Wyatt, State's Atty. and Asst. State's Atty., respectively, for Baltimore City, Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee.

[207 A.2d 494] Before PRESCOTT, C. J., HAMMOND, HORNEY and SYBERT, JJ., and J. DeWEESE CARTER, Special Judge.

Page 576

J. DeWEESE CARTER, Special Judge.

The defendant was convicted in the Criminal Court of Baltimore of obtaining money by false pretenses in violation of Article 27, Section 140, Code (1957), and sentenced to ten years in the Maryland Penitentiary. He appeals from that judgment.

It was established by the evidence that the victim, Mrs. Clifford Horsman, a widow of six months duration, placed an advertisement in The Sunday Sun, a Baltimore City newspaper, offering a room for rent to a gentleman. On the following Monday evening she received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Thomas Frame inquiring if the room had been rented. The next morning the defendant appeared and identified himself as the person who had called. Mrs. Horsman requested his credentials and he informed her that after he arrived in Baltimore his wallet containing $1800 and his credentials was stolen. After renting the room, he departed. During his absence that day Mrs. Horsman received another telephone call from a purported Mr. Bell who advised her that Mr. Frame's bonus of $1800 would be delivered to him that day. When the defendant returned to the house he informed Mrs. Horsman that his check was being wired but that he needed money in the meantime to start his men on a construction job, whereupon she loaned him $400. Immediately thereafter, on the same day, he received another telephone call at Mrs. Horsman's home and informed her he needed $850 additional. She protested but agreed to let him have it until that afternoon. After this advance he again left Mrs. Horsman's home. While he was awary he telephoned her, later that day, that he had to go to Hagerstown to get his trunk containing $18,000 in bonds, and explained that he had sold his home when his wife and child were killed in an airplane crash. He again contacted Mrs. Horsman early the next morning when he instructed her to call him at 8 A.M. as he was expecting a long distance call. The next morning a woman called at Mrs. Horsman's house inquiring for Mr. Thomas Frame and he answered the call. Thereafter, he informed Mrs. Horsman his big boss from Chicago had directed him, by wire, to go to the Lord Baltimore Hotel

Page 577

before noon that day and meet a Mr. Wilson, who had some stock that his big boss wanted; that if he could get the stock he would be able to double his money and that he only wanted money for this purpose until noon. She then took him to the bank, withdrew $4,000 and delivered it to him. Neither his money nor luggage ever arrived and she never saw him thereafter until his arrest. No part of the money advanced has ever been returned. He testified that he had been engaged in the confidence game since 1957; that he was introduced to the game by one Danny Collins with whom he had since been associated; that Collins made the original telephone call to Mrs. Horsman and directed him to go to her home; that Collins further directed him to go back to her home after he had secured $1250, which he did and obtained $4,000 additional; that Collins' share of the deal was to be $3,000 and that, although he had sufficient monies from his race track winnings, a short time after the loan from Mrs. Horsman, to repay her in full as well as pay Collins his share he did not do so because he considered what he had won at the track his personal property. He further stated he entered into the Horsman deal to turn Collins over to the police and did not intend 'to beat' Mrs. Horsman out of her money. Several clerks at the defendant's apartment house testified and none recalled any incoming calls received by him in support of his statement that he received many calls from Collins during his stay there from April 5, 1963 to May 17, 1963.

On May 2, 1963, Mrs. Horsman made a formal complaint concerning the incident to the Baltimore City Police Department. [207 A.2d 495] Based on her identifying description, the defendant was apprehended at his Baltimore apartment on May 17, 1963. When the police took him in custody, he gave his name as James Francis Bell and introduced his wife as Mrs. Bell. At the police station he first denied any knowledge of matters concerned in Mrs. Horsman's complaint and gave permission to search his apartment. In his apartment the police found lists of telephone numbers representing persons who had advertised rooms for rent. Opposite some of the numbers were placed the letters 'N.G.' which he explained meant no good, that is: that either a man answered the call or whoever answered did not sound like a good house. Also found in the apartment was an identification

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22 cases
  • Smith v. Brough, Civ. No. 16435.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • December 14, 1965
    ...years, and appealed to the Court of Appeals of Maryland, which, on March 3, 1965, affirmed his conviction. James Francis Smith v. State, 237 Md. 573, 207 A.2d 493. No petition for a writ of certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court. The conviction therefore became final some months before......
  • Hof v. State, 117
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...circumstances, it assesses whether the confession was voluntarily made. Gill, 265 Md. at 358, 289 A.2d at 579, (quoting Smith v. State, 237 Md. 573, 581, 207 A.2d 493, 497 (1965) and Ralph v. State, 226 Md. 480, 487, 174 A.2d 163, 167 (1961), cert. denied., 369 U.S. 813, 82 S.Ct. 689, 7 L.E......
  • Dempsey v. State, 21
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • March 3, 1976
    ...initially determine that the confession was involuntary it is never even presented to the jury.' See in addition, e. g., Smith v. State, 237 Md. 573, 207 A.2d 493 (1965); Presley v. State, 224 Md. 550, 559, 168 A.2d 510 (1961), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 957, 82 S.Ct. 399, 7 L.Ed.2d 389 (1962);......
  • Andresen v. State, 152
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • January 10, 1975 or valuable security from another; 5) who relies on the false representation; 6) to his detriment.' See also Smith v. State, 237 Md. 573, 207 A.2d 493; Tumminello v. State, 10 Md.App. 612, 272 A.2d 77; Lockhard v. State, 3 Md.App. 580, 240 A.2d The false pretenses perpetrated on Stand......
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