State v. Clark

Decision Date08 February 1960
Docket NumberNo. 47039,No. 1,47039,1
Citation331 S.W.2d 588
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Respondent, v. Maurice Winterten CLARK, Appellant
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

James L. McMullin, Kansas City, for appellant.

John M. Dalton, Atty. Gen., Jerry B. Buxton, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.

HYDE, Presiding Judge.

Defendant was found guilty of robbery in the first degree (Section 560.120, statutory references are to RSMo and V.A.M.S.) and his punishment assessed at 25 years in the penitentiary. The court remitted 15 years of the sentence (see 42 V.A.M.S. Supreme Court Rules, Rule 27.04) and defendant has appealed from the judgment and sentence of ten years. Defendant has filed no brief so we consider the assignments properly made in his motion for new trial. State v. Stehlin, Mo.Sup., 312 S.W.2d 838.

Defendant's assignments (1, 2, 5, 10 and 11) require determination of whether there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict on his claim that he was entitled to a directed verdict. In determining this issue, 'we consider as true the evidence favorable to the State and the favorable inferences reasonably to be drawn therefrom; and evidence to the contrary is rejected.' State v. Stehlin, supra, 312 S.W.2d loc. cit. 839, and cases cited. Defendant's claim of being entitled to a directed verdict seems mainly based on his contention that the witnesses could not positively identify him.

The State's evidence (Mrs. Leallian Williams and Gerald Ellis) was that on December 11, 1957, Mrs. Williams was in charge of a Velvet Freeze ice cream store in Kansas City, Missouri, as manager; that Gerald Ellis, supervisor for the company, was in the store about 4:30 P.M. to collect the day's receipts, when two men came in, one of whom they both said was defendant; and that defendant's companion held a gun and said 'this is a stick-up.' Mrs. Williams and Ellis were forced to go in the back room and lie on the floor while the men took money from the cash register and from the brief case in which Ellis had his collections. Mrs. Williams pointed out defendant at the trial as one of the two men who held up her store and said she was positive that he was one of them. On cross-examination, she said defendant held the collar of his overcoat partly over his face and she estimated his height (incorrectly) and weight, said he had blue eyes, also saying she was basing her identification on the man's nose, most; and again stated that she was positive defendant was the man. Ellis also pointed out defendant at the trial as one of the two men who held him up at the store. He said: 'I just more or less fixed my gaze on his facial features and his build, which I couldn't forget.' On cross-examination he also mentioned defendant's light hair and again said he was positive in his identification. He also said defendant put something in his back which he presumed was a gun when he marched him into the back room. Furthermore, the State had a confession signed by defendant, in question and answer form, in which he admitted his participation in the robbery, saying he took the money from the cash register, but stating that only his companion had a gun. Defendant in his testimony (as only defense witness) denied participation in the robbery and said he signed the confession because his wife was pregnant and the officers said they would search the house where they lived and arrest her; and also said they would file an habitual criminal charge against him if he did not sign. This was denied by the officers, one of whom also said defendant talked to his wife at the Detective Bureau before he made the statement. On these facts, it is obvious that the State made a case for the jury and that defendant's claim of insufficient identification is without merit. See State v. Hawkins, Mo.Sup., 165 S.W.2d 644, 646; State v. Saussele, Mo.Sup., 265 S.W.2d 290, 297; State v. Andrews, Mo.Sup., 309 S.W.2d 626, 628; and State v. Turner, Mo.Sup., 320 S.W.2d 579, 584. Defendant's denial and the accuracy and credibility of the witnesses making the identifications were jury issues.

Assignments 8 and 9 (verdict against weight of the evidence, etc., and the result of bias and prejudice) are too general to preserve anything for appellate review under the requirements of our Rule 27.20. Assignment 3 claimed error in allowing the information to be amended to state the amount taken from Mrs. Williams was $55 instead of $193, as originally alleged. The only ground of objection stated was 'the State has already closed its case,' although no evidence had yet been offered by defendant. The evidence showed that only $55 had been taken from the cash register, which was the only money in the possession of Mrs. Williams. (The rest of the money was taken from Ellis and the information did not charge robbery from him.) Therefore, this amendment was proper under Rule 24.02 and this assignment is...

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4 cases
  • State v. Summers, 49237
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 11, 1962
    ...have been crying and were on the verge of hysteria. These allegations of the motion for new trial do not prove themselves. State v. Clark, Mo., 331 S.W.2d 588, 591. In large part they are not supported by any proof in the The record does show that the jury commenced its deliberations about ......
  • State v. James, 48208
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 1961
    ...... This was known to defendant during the trial but no record was made of the alleged occurrence. This unverified allegation in defendant's motion for new trial does not prove itself and is not for consideration. State v. Smart, Mo., 328 S.W.2d 569, 576, and cases cited; State v. Clark, Mo., . Page 218. 331 S.W.2d 588. See State v. Flinn, Mo., 96 S.W.2d 506, 512[20, 21], and cases cited.         The foregoing sufficiently disposes of all issues in the motion for new trial. The court gave defendant a fair trial. Our examination of the matters we inquire into under ......
  • State v. Pughe, 51510
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 11, 1966
    ...the identity of appellant as the robber. The accuracy and credibility of the testimony of Mrs. Goebel was for the jury. State v. Clark, Mo.Sup., 331 S.W.2d 588, 590(3). Appellant's principal complaints are that the court erred in permitting the police officers to recite to the jury the incr......
  • State v. Adamson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 8, 1961
    ...v. Taylor, Mo., 324 S.W.2d 643, 647; State v. Statler, Mo., 331 S.W.2d 526, 531; State v. Thost, Mo., 328 S.W.2d 36, 40; State v. Clark, Mo., 331 S.W.2d 588, 591; State v. Johnson, Mo., 286 S.W.2d 787, 795. Assuming that the statement of the witness was inadmissible, we find no abuse of dis......

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