State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 9063

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtSMITH, Presiding Judge.
Citation72 S.D. 638,38 N.W.2d 441
Decision Date19 July 1949
Docket Number9063
PartiesSTATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, ex rel. ORIEN BAKER, Appellant, v. G. NORTON JAMESON, Respondent.
72 SD 638, 38 NW2d 441 (1949)

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA,
ex rel. ORIEN BAKER,

Appellant,
v.
G. NORTON JAMESON,

Respondent.


South Dakota Supreme Court
Appeal from Circuit Court, Minnehaha County, SD
Hon. Lucius J. Wall, Judge
#9063—Affirmed

T. R. Johnson, Edwin C. Parliman, Sioux Falls, SD
Attorneys for Appellant.

Sigurd Anderson, Attorney General
William J. Flittie, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, SD
Attorneys for Respondent.

Opinion Filed Jul 19, 1949

[72 SD 639]

SMITH, Presiding Judge.


This appeal, in a habeas corpus proceeding from an order of the circuit court remanding appellant to the custody of the warden of the penitentiary of South Dakota, presents the question whether the trial of appellant on a charge of manslaughter in the first degree was so infected with unfairness as to impel a holding that the judgment of conviction upon a plea of guilty is void under the due process provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and § 2, Article VI of the Constitution of South Dakota.

Prior to the 31st day of August 1943, one William Sturges, an incompetent cousin of appellant, had been placed in the custody of appellant. On that day Sturges died at appellant’s ranch home. The body bore evidence of extreme violence. There were multiple cuts through to the scalp. There were also healed scalp scars. There was hemorrhage of both eyes, and crusted wounds of the forehead and face. Certain teeth were knocked out and others were hanging loose. There were multiple lacerations, crusted wounds and contusions over the body, arms and hands.

On September 1st, 1943, appellant was arrested and charged with the murder of Sturges. The record of the committing magistrate shows that appellant was brought before the court on that day; that the complaint was read to him; that he was fully advised of his constitutional rights; and that September 6th, 1943, at ten o’clock A. M. was fixed as the time for holding a preliminary hearing. The transcript of the reporter of the proceedings had on September 6th, 1943, records the appearance of the appellant in person

[72 SD 640]

and by his attorney, C. E. Kell. At that time the state filed and there was read to the defendant an amended complaint charging the appellant with the crime of manslaughter in the first degree. Thereupon, in the presence of appellant and his attorney, the state’s attorney said,

“At this time, the defendant having signified his desire to plead guilty to the charge of manslaughter in the first degree, the state states that his plea of first degree manslaughter will be accepted, and the plea of guilty under this information will be considered as a plea of guilty of manslaughter in the first degree.”

Neither Mr. Kell nor Baker questioned the truth of this representation by the state’s attorney. Thereafter the defendant waived preliminary examination and was bound over to circuit court on both charges.

The foregoing proceedings were had at White River, in Mellette County. On the following day the sheriff transported appellant a distance of approximately one hundred miles to Bonesteel for arraignment before the circuit court. At the arraignment appellant appeared without counsel. However, on that occasion in moving the dismissal of the charge of murder, and making the arraignment on the charge of manslaughter in the first degree the state’s attorney, in the presence of the appellant, said,

“I might say to the record that Mr. Baker was represented at the preliminary examination by Mr. C. E. Kell, and that the negotiations concerning the dropping of the murder charge and the filing of the first degree manslaughter charge were all conducted through Mr. Kell and the defendant himself.” This statement of the state’s attorney was not challenged by appellant.”

After ascertaining that applicant understood not only the meaning of the charge, but that it was a felony involving imprisonment in the penitentiary, the court informed appellant that he was entitled to be represented by counsel. Although defendant was able to provide himself with counsel, when informed that the expense of counsel would be upon him, he advised the court that he didn’t believe he wanted an attorney. Thereupon, without any further explanation of the rights of a defendant so charged, the court accepted

[72 SD 641]

appellant’s plea of guilty, and sentenced him to twenty years in the penitentiary.

The record of the interrogation by the court after receiving appellant’s plea includes the following questions and answers:

Q. How did this happen that caused this fight or whatever it was that caused the death of this man?

A. Well, those cuts and places on his head, I didn’t know they were on there.

Q. Well, there was some fight or something there, wasn’t there?

A. No, we didn’t have no fight.

Q. Did you beat him up?

A. Not with no clubs or anything like that.

Q. With your fists?

A. No.

Q. Didn’t hit him at all?

A. I slapped him a few times at different times, a little.

Q. What did you do that for?

A. Oh, just little arguments.

Q. How old was he?

A. Around thirty-nine, I believe.

Q. Was he any relation to you?

A. Cousin.

Q. Was he living with you?

A. Yes sir. ...

Q. What time of day did this happen?

A. When he passed away, you mean?

Q. When you slapped him.

A. Well, that had been quite a while before his death., I would say a month or so.

Q. And there was no more trouble up till the time of his death?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever kick him and beat him more than that once?

A. Well, that first time was when we was working on the dam. We had a little dispute.

Q. What happened there?

A. Oh, nothing much, I just booted his pants a little.

...

Q. You told about two altercations or fights or whatever there were with him. Weren’t there more than that?

A. More than two? No.

Thereupon the state’s attorney stated,

“I want to say to the record that, of course, what this man says now probability

[72 SD 642]

doesn’t make a great deal of difference. ... I want to say to the Court that those who saw this body will agree that they never before saw a human body that was pounded and beaten and in the shape this was in.”

Whereupon appellant stated, “He...

To continue reading

Request your trial
18 practice notes
  • United States ex rel. Miner v. Erickson, No. 19977.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 5, 1970
    ...by a competent mind." State v. Haas, supra, 8 N.W.2d at 570; State v. Hillerud, supra, 81 N.W.2d at 132; State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 38 N.W.2d 441, 444 (1949); State ex rel. Warner v. Jameson, supra, 91 N.W.2d at 745; State v. Thomlinson, 78 S.D. 235, 100 N.W.2d 121, 122 (1......
  • Oleson v. Young, #27037
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 26, 2015
    ...against the settled notions of fairness and justice . . . as to fail to amount to due process of law." State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 644, 38 N.W.2d 441, 444 (1949) (emphasis added). In Rosen and Monette, the State only answered the petitioners' arguments on the merits; the St......
  • Oleson v. Young, No. 27037.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 26, 2015
    ...against the settled notions of fairness and justice ... as to fail to amount to due process of law.” State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 644, 38 N.W.2d 441, 444 (1949) (emphasis added). In Rosen and Monette, the State only answered the petitioners' arguments on the merits; the Stat......
  • Nachtigall v. Erickson, No. 10786
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 16, 1970
    ...him of his constitutional rights did not make the plea of guilty involuntary or deny him due process. State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 38 N.W.2d 441. See also State ex rel. Parker v. Jameson, 75 S.D. 196, 61 N.W.2d 832 and State ex rel. Pekarek v. Erickson, 83 S.D. 79, 155 N.W.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • United States ex rel. Miner v. Erickson, No. 19977.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 5, 1970
    ...by a competent mind." State v. Haas, supra, 8 N.W.2d at 570; State v. Hillerud, supra, 81 N.W.2d at 132; State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 38 N.W.2d 441, 444 (1949); State ex rel. Warner v. Jameson, supra, 91 N.W.2d at 745; State v. Thomlinson, 78 S.D. 235, 100 N.W.2d 121, 122 (1......
  • Oleson v. Young, #27037
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 26, 2015
    ...against the settled notions of fairness and justice . . . as to fail to amount to due process of law." State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 644, 38 N.W.2d 441, 444 (1949) (emphasis added). In Rosen and Monette, the State only answered the petitioners' arguments on the merits; the St......
  • Oleson v. Young, No. 27037.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 26, 2015
    ...against the settled notions of fairness and justice ... as to fail to amount to due process of law.” State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 644, 38 N.W.2d 441, 444 (1949) (emphasis added). In Rosen and Monette, the State only answered the petitioners' arguments on the merits; the Stat......
  • Nachtigall v. Erickson, No. 10786
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 16, 1970
    ...him of his constitutional rights did not make the plea of guilty involuntary or deny him due process. State ex rel. Baker v. Jameson, 72 S.D. 638, 38 N.W.2d 441. See also State ex rel. Parker v. Jameson, 75 S.D. 196, 61 N.W.2d 832 and State ex rel. Pekarek v. Erickson, 83 S.D. 79, 155 N.W.2......
  • 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