State v. Bossio, 19051.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtMAIN, J.
Citation136 Wash. 232,239 P. 553
PartiesSTATE v. BOSSIO et al.
Docket Number19051.
Decision Date02 October 1925

239 P. 553

136 Wash. 232

BOSSIO et al.

No. 19051.

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc.

October 2, 1925

Appeal from Superior Court, Spokane County; Lindsley, Judge.

Charles Bossio and another were convicted of conducting and maintaining a place for the unlawful sale of intoxicating liquors, and they appeal. Reversed and remanded.

Holcomb, J., dissenting in part. [239 P. 554]

M. E. Mack, of Spokane, for appellants.

Chas. H. Leavy and Edward M. Connelly, both of Spokane, for the State.


The defendants were by information charged with the crime of conducting and maintaining a place for the unlawful sale of intoxicating liquor. The trial resulted in a verdict of guilty as charged. Motion for a new trial being made and overruled, the defendants appeal.

The appellant Charles Bossio owned and conducted a soft drink parlor in the city of Spokane. T. A. Bossio was employed in the place. On or about the 31st day of July, 1922, officers went to the place armed with a search warrant for the purpose of looking for intoxicating liquor. The rear end of the storeroom in which the soft drink parlor is conducted is to the north. In the storeroom adjacent on the west a hardware business was conducted. At the rear of these two rooms there was what is referred to as an areaway or hallway which accommodated both. The door to the outside from this hallway was in the west end thereof. Above the door was a transom. Connected with this transom a ventilator had been put in in order to permit the passage of air into the hardware store. The officers making the search found in this ventilator two bottles of moonshine whisky. There is evidence of other facts which need not here be detailed. There had been a prior trial of the action, and two of the witnesses, who had previously testified in behalf of the state in the present trial were called and did not testify to facts which they had given upon the prior occasion. When asked with reference thereto their general answers [136 Wash. 234] were something like this: 'I do not remember,' 'I cannot say.'

The first assignment of error relates to the action of the trial court in setting the case for trial when it is claimed that it was pending on appeal from one of the other trials. In the former action, a motion had been made for a directed verdict, and it was understood between the parties with the acquiescence of the court that the motion would be heard and determined subsequent to the verdict of the jury being returned. The jury disagreed. The court, upon hearing the motion, declined to grant it, and the defendants gave notice of appeal therefrom. Under section 1716, Rem. Comp. Stat., this was not an appealable order, and therefore the court properly set and proceeded with another trial of the action. In the cases cited by the appellants in support of their position, there had been a final judgment and an appeal which is an entirely different situation from that here presented.

The second assignment of error relates to testimony with reference to a deputy sheriff having given a witness $2.50 prior to the search of the Bossio place. At the time this testimony was offered, the state believed that it could connect it up with that place. It was not subsequently connected up, but the testimony is not of sufficient importance to justify a reversal of the judgment for that reason. The question in all probability will not appear upon another trial.

The appellants' third assignment of error relates to the receiving in evidence over objection of the two bottles of moonshine whisky which were found in the ventilator. As stated, this ventilator was connected with the transom over the outside door to the hallway of which the appellants and the proprietor of the hardware store had a common use. The owner of the building, in which the two stores were located, testified that [136 Wash. 235] when the premises were rented each of the parties 'had a joint use of the hallway in the rear.' Under these facts, the evidence was admissible.

Assignments of error four to eight relate to the testimony of the witnesses, Robert Irwin and Guy McNeil. Each of these witnesses, when called by the state in the present trial, gave certain evidence favorable to the state and then apparently had a lapse of memory and gave answers such as above indicated. One of the witnesses testified to no affirmative fact which was prejudicial to the state. The other may in one or two instances have done so. The deputy prosecutor expressly disclaimed being surprised at their testimony. Notwithstanding his lack of surprise over the objection of the appellants, he was permitted to read in detail the testimony which each of them had given upon a former trial and asked them if they did not so testify. This was in effect getting before the jury the testimony which they had given on a former trial which was not in opposition to the testimony that they had given upon this trial because here they simply, as stated, said that they did not remember or could not say. In the absence of surprise at an affirmative statement by a witness prejudicial to the interests of the party calling him there exists no basis for his impeachment. State v. Simmons, ...

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12 cases
  • State v. ALLEN S., 22642-1-II.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • December 17, 1999
    ...297 P. 208 (1931). 35. Delaney, 161 Wash. at 618, 297 P. 208. Washington cases that are more or less similar include State v. Bossio, 136 Wash. 232, 239 P. 553 (1925); Ferris v. Todd, 124 Wash. 643, 215 P. 54 (1923); State v. Catsampas, 62 Wash. 70, 112 P. 1116 (1911); and State v. Simmons,......
  • Northern Pacific Railway Company v. Everett
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • April 24, 1956
    ...own witness, State v. Thorne, 1953, 43 Wash.2d 47, 260 P.2d 331; State v. Swan, 1946, 25 Wash.2d 319, 171 P.2d 222; State v. Bossio, 1925, 136 Wash. 232, 239 P. 553, it is clear that appellee here made no attempt to impeach the engineer. Instead, appellee called two other witnesses whose te......
  • State v. Matlock
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 29, 1964
    ...21 Wash.2d 765, 153 P.2d 507; State v. Fry, 169 Wash. 313, 13 P.2d 491; State v. Delaney, 161 Wash. 614, 297 P. 208; State v. Bossio, 136 Wash. 232, 239 P. 553; Ferris v. Todd, 124 Wash. 643, 215 P. 54; State v. Kellogg, 91 Wash. 665, 158 P. 344; State v. Catsampas, 62 Wash. 70, 112 P. 1116......
  • State v. Thorne, 32145
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • August 5, 1953
    ...Two prerequisites to impeachment of one's own witness are (1) surprise and (2) prejudicial and harmful testimony. State v. Bossio, 1925, 136 Wash. 232, 239 P. 553; State v. Swan, 1946, 25 Wash.2d 319, 171 P.2d 222; annotation, 74 A.L.R. 1042, 1064. See, also, 15 Wash.L.Rev. 127 (1940). It i......
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