State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, No. 13835

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtHARSHBARGER
Citation160 W.Va. 314,233 S.E.2d 425
PartiesSTATE of West Virginia ex rel. Charles W. PEACHER, Jr. v. Vance E. SENCINDIVER Judge, et al., Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. 13835
Decision Date05 April 1977

Page 425

233 S.E.2d 425
160 W.Va. 314
STATE of West Virginia ex rel. Charles W. PEACHER, Jr.
v.
Vance E. SENCINDIVER Judge, et al., Respondents.
No. 13835.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
April 5, 1977.

Syllabus by the Court

1. Denial of pretrial mental examination of an accused criminal may be an abuse of discretion by a trial court.

2. A writ of prohibition will not issue to prevent a simple abuse of discretion by a trial court. It will only issue where the trial court has no jurisdiction or having such jurisdiction exceeds its legitimate powers. W. Va. Code 53-1-1.

3. W.Va. Code 61-2-1 does not violate the due process clause of our federal and state constitutions. It requires the State to prove, in order to sustain a first degree murder conviction in a felony-murder case, that defendant committed or attempted to commit the named felony and that he committed murder incidental thereto.

Radosh & Askin, Steven M. Askin, Martinsburg, for relator.

Robert R. Skinner, Pros. Atty., Charles Town, for respondents.

[160 W.Va. 315] HARSHBARGER, Justice:

Petitioner Charles W. Peacher, Jr. was arrested June 30, 1976 and indicted in Jefferson County on September 21, 1976 for murder and burglary.

He was examined by four psychiatrists, two, separately, in the Jefferson County jail, and two at Weston State Hospital.

The Weston examination was court-ordered and made in December, 1976. The psychiatrists reported on January 3, 1977 that defendant was competent to stand trial but they recommended, "A further neurological examination, EEG, and brain scan, neurological examination to rule out organic-pathology as a result of heavy drug usage."

The other psychiatrists also opined that Peacher was competent to be tried. None could give an opinion about his criminal responsibility at the time he allegedly committed the crimes.

On January 19, 1977 petitioner moved the trial court for a continuance of the case, which was docketed for trial on February 8, to allow the neurological examination to be conducted. The court denied the motion

Page 426

and this Court issued a rule to the trial court, the prosecuting attorney and the sheriff to show cause why prohibition should not issue. The matter was argued March 1, 1977.

The question is whether prohibition should issue to prevent trial of defendant Peacher until he has the neurological examination.

W.Va. Code 53-1-1 provides, "The writ of prohibition shall lie as a matter of right in all cases of usurpation and abuse of power, when the inferior court has not jurisdiction of the subject matter in controversy, or, having such jurisdiction, exceeds its legitimate powers."

"But it does not lie for errors or grievances which may be redressed in the ordinary course of...

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184 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Sims v. Perry, No. 25629.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 26, 1999
    ...or having such jurisdiction exceeds its legitimate powers. W. Va.Code, 53-1-1." Syl. pt. 2, State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, 160 W.Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 (1977). Accord Syl. pt. 1, Crawford v. Taylor, 138 W.Va. 207, 75 S.E.2d 370 (1953). The case sub judice is a criminal case in which......
  • Myers v. Frazier, Nos. 16114
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 27, 1984
    ...ordinarily prohibition does not lie for an abuse of discretion as we stated in Syllabus Point 2 of State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, 160 W.Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 (1977): "A writ of prohibition will not issue to prevent a simple abuse of discretion by a trial court. It will only issue w......
  • State v. Davis, No. 25812.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 28, 1999
    ...felony and that he committed murder 519 S.E.2d 866 incidental thereto." Syllabus Point 3, in part, State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, 160 W.Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 This Court has had few occasions to consider the category of first degree murder under which the defendant was convicted. Ac......
  • State ex rel. Porter v. Farrell, No. 21-0090
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 3, 2021
    ...pt. 4, State ex rel. Hoover v. Berger , 199 W. Va. 12, 483 S.E.2d 12 (1996). See also Syl. pt. 2, State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver , 160 W. Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 (1977) ("A writ of prohibition will not issue to prevent a simple abuse of discretion by a trial court. It will only issue ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
184 cases
  • State ex rel. Sims v. Perry, No. 25629.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 26, 1999
    ...or having such jurisdiction exceeds its legitimate powers. W. Va.Code, 53-1-1." Syl. pt. 2, State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, 160 W.Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 (1977). Accord Syl. pt. 1, Crawford v. Taylor, 138 W.Va. 207, 75 S.E.2d 370 (1953). The case sub judice is a criminal case in which......
  • Myers v. Frazier, Nos. 16114
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 27, 1984
    ...ordinarily prohibition does not lie for an abuse of discretion as we stated in Syllabus Point 2 of State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, 160 W.Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 (1977): "A writ of prohibition will not issue to prevent a simple abuse of discretion by a trial court. It will only issue w......
  • State v. Davis, No. 25812.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 28, 1999
    ...felony and that he committed murder 519 S.E.2d 866 incidental thereto." Syllabus Point 3, in part, State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver, 160 W.Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 This Court has had few occasions to consider the category of first degree murder under which the defendant was convicted. Ac......
  • State ex rel. Porter v. Farrell, No. 21-0090
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 3, 2021
    ...pt. 4, State ex rel. Hoover v. Berger , 199 W. Va. 12, 483 S.E.2d 12 (1996). See also Syl. pt. 2, State ex rel. Peacher v. Sencindiver , 160 W. Va. 314, 233 S.E.2d 425 (1977) ("A writ of prohibition will not issue to prevent a simple abuse of discretion by a trial court. It will only issue ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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