State v. Daves, No. 52013

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSTUART; LARSON, J., GARFIELD, C.J., and BECKER; LARSON; GARFIELD, C.J., and BECKER
Citation144 N.W.2d 879,259 Iowa 584
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Aubrey W. DAVES, Appellant.
Decision Date20 September 1966
Docket NumberNo. 52013

Page 879

144 N.W.2d 879
259 Iowa 584
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Aubrey W. DAVES, Appellant.
No. 52013.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Sept. 20, 1966.

[259 Iowa 585]

Page 880

Jerry L. Lovelace, and Alan R. Leff, Iowa City, for appellant.

Lawrence F. Scalise, Atty. Gen., Don R. Bennett, Asst. Atty. Gen., Daniel W. Boyle, County Atty., and Robert W. Jansen, Asst. County Atty., Johnson County, for appellee.

STUART, Justice.

Defendant was convicted of larceny in the nighttime. He has appealed from the judgment and rulings on his motion for directed verdict and motion to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial. The sole question is the sufficiency of the evidence.

On a claim of insufficient evidence to support a conviction, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the state. The finding of guilt by the trier of fact is binding on us unless we are satisfied it is without substantial support in the evidence or is clearly against the weight thereof. State v. Stodola, 257 Iowa 863, 134 N.W.2d 920, 921; State v. Poffenbarger, 247 Iowa 552, 554, 74 N.W.2d 585, 586; State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 531-532, 86 N.W.2d 210, 211; State v. Frink, 255 Iowa 59, 63-64, 120 N.W.2d 432, 435.

However, the state must prove all essential elements of the crime charged. State v. Mabbitt, 257 Iowa 1063, 135 N.W.2d 525, 528; State v. Myers, 253 Iowa 271,

Page 881

274, 111 N.W.2d 660, 662. Here the evidence shows without dispute that a Mr. Klepke took $100 from the cash drawer of the Union Bus Depot in Iowa City during the night of Sunday, March 7th, or early in the morning of March 8, 1965. It is the sufficiency of the evidence connecting defendant with this crime which is [259 Iowa 586] challenged. To aid or abet means to assent to an act or to lend countenance or approval either by active participation in it or by some manner encouraging it. State v. Fonza, 254 Iowa 630, 118 N.W.2d 548; State v. Smith, 248 Iowa 603, 608, 81 N.W.2d 657, 660; State v. Storms, 233 Iowa 655, 657, 10 N.W.2d 53, 54. Knowledge is an essential element of aiding and abetting. State v. Kneedy, 232 Iowa 21, 28, 3 N.W.2d 611, 615; State v. McCarty, 210 Iowa 173, 177, 230 N.W. 379, 381. Guilt of a person charged with aiding and abetting must be determined upon the facts which show his part in the crime and does not depend on another's degree of guilt. State v. Bittner, 209 Iowa 109, 111, 227 N.W. 601; State v. Canalle, 206 Iowa 1169, 1177, 221 N.W. 847; State v. Smith, 100 Iowa 1, 4, 69 N.W. 269.

Mere presence at the scene of a crime is not enough to prove defendant committed the offense or that he did aid and abet its commission. State v. Mabbitt, 257 Iowa 1063, 135 N.W.2d 525, 528; State v. Farr, 33 Iowa 553, 562; State v. Fonza, 254 Iowa 630, 635, 118 N.W.2d 548, 551; State v. Farris, 189 Iowa 505, 510, 178 N.W. 361.

Any evidence circumstantial or direct, must be sufficient to raise a fair inference of guilt. It must generate something more than suspicion, or speculation, or conjecture. State v. Myers, 253 Iowa 271, 274, 111 N.W.2d 660, 662; State v. Saling, 177 Iowa 552, 563, 159 N.W. 255, 259; State v. Whisler, 231 Iowa 1216, 1226, 3 N.W.2d 525, 530.

With these rules in mind we now turn to the evidence.

In February, 1965, the operator of the bus depot reported a loss of money to the Iowa City police. When money was again missing on March 5, the police set up a plan of surveillance. On the nights of March 5th, 6th, and 7th, officers were stationed in a bus parked along the west side of the bus depot in a position from which the interior of the station could be observed.

The depot is located in the south or rear half of the Burkley Hotel building. Two doors open from the waiting room onto an alley which runs along the south end of the building. There are three rows of six or seven chairs facing south. At the north end of the waiting room is a large opening leading into the hotel and the Campus Grill. The ticket counter in which the cash drawers [259 Iowa 587] were located was also to the north end of the room. There were three rows of drawers behind the counter which were secured by placing pipes through the top of the counter and down through the drawers. They were padlocked at the bottom.

The officer, sitting in the bus, could look through a window and see the money drawers, the entire counter, the first two rows of chairs and the doors to the men's and ladies' restrooms.

Detective Snider testified as to his observations the first night of the surveillance: 'I observed the Defendant, Mr. Daves, and Mr. Wells shortly after 3:00 walking through and they entered the rest room. Shortly thereafter Mr. Klepke had entered the rest room area. They were not together. They remained there a short time and Wells and Daves came out and a few steps behind was Klepke. They then left the place. I maintained my surveillance until 6:00 on the morning of the 6th, but I did not observe any of the 3 parties, Klepke, Daves or Wells again that morning.

'I continued my surveillance that next evening on March 6th, starting at about 9:00 P.M. At about 11:30, Daves, Wells and Klepke entered the bus area together and Wells and Daves sat down in the chairs in the back row. They sat in these chairs while Klepke was around in behind the counter and he dropped

Page 882

down and picked up a paper in the area of the coins. He was there for just a few minutes and then left. Shortly after he left, someone walked from the hotel or Campus Grill area into the rest room. During this period, Daves and Wells were seated in the chairs facing south, but Daves was looking back toward the hotel area. Wells was looking straight ahead. Mr. Klepke was over by the counter in and out pretty fast and shortly after he had left the counter area, picking up a magazine. Wells, Daves and Klepke did not appear to be conversing at all at this particular time.

'At about 1:30 on Sunday morning, March 7th, the three of them walked in. Daves stood at the north side and Wells stood at the south side of the east end of the counter. Klepke had walked past these fellows around behind the counter to the drawers. At this time these two fellows were carrying on a conversation; one turning and listening and looking one way and the [259 Iowa 588] other looking the other way and they both turned over and looked at Klepke in behind the counter at the cash drawers. Klepke was manipulating the drawers from where I could see him. They remained like this for a good ten to fifteen minutes.

'At about 3:30, the fellows entered the place again. Wells and Klepke were the only two that I noticed. Wells walking over out this door and Klepke entered in behind the counter. Klepke spent considerable time going down to the base of the drawers and up to the top and I figured he was unlocking the locks at the base of the drawers and raising the bar up. This time I thought I should move in so I left the bus and started to enter the place to make my apprehension. As I entered, I notice Wells, standing in the southeast corner of the large room. There is a large bay window in the south wall, from which he would have complete vision of the entire parking area. I changed my mind at this point about making my apprehension and at approximately 4:00 I left the bus and called Mr. Spelman, feeling that money had been taken.' It was later determined money had been taken that night.

The surveillance on Sunday night was conducted by Officer Raymond White who testified: 'About 45 minutes after I assumed my position, I saw one fellow (Klepke) walk behind the counter. He was alone when he walked behind the counter and he had come in with two other fellows (Defendant and Wells) form the hotel entrance walking into the waiting area. * * *

'Daves and Wells wandered around the area where people sit and over to the coke machine and walked around but did not sit down at that time. Mr. Klepke walked behind the counter and stooped down and picked up a pamphlet from the area underneath the counter where they are stored and stood there and read a little bit and walked out from behind the counter. All three of them left at about 9:30, going out to the front of the hotel.

'I maintained my vigil and the same three individuals came back into the bus depot around 10:50. Wells and Daves sat in the waiting chairs for the customers and Klepke made a trip behind the counter and picked up another pamphlet. Mr. Daves [259 Iowa 589] was sitting in the second chair and Mr. Wells was sitting in the third chair in a rather relaxed position. Mr. Daves was sitting kind of turned in his chair with his face turned towards the north, or towards the entrance of the hotel and Mr. Wells was sitting facing to the south. The three stayed for approximately ten minutes and during this time Mr. Klepke had picked up the pamphlet and walked back out from behind the counter and leaned against the counter and read it a while at the front of, or the south side of, the counter. Mr. Klepke then made a second trip back around the counter, picked up another larger pamphlet and walked back out. He stood there a few minutes and then the three of them left. During this time when they were in the bus depot, Wells and Daves remained in their position and they talked a little bit, but I was unable to hear what they were saying as the window of the bus and the window of the building were between us.

Page 883

'I continued my surveillance and noticed other people wandering through the depot periodically and around 11:15 and 12:30 there were a lot of people with buses coming and going. One of the bus drivers walked all the way through and behind the counter and a couple others walked around to the end. None of them were near the cash drawers. At 1:00 on the morning of the 8th, all three of the fellows came back in and Mr. Klepke walked up to the end of the counter and spread a newspaper on the end so he could stand there and read the newspaper. The other two fellows wandered...

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33 practice notes
  • State v. Kittelson, No. 52889
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 14, 1969
    ...there are several hours of daylight left after 5:00 P.M. on August 23rd. Several rules germane to this appeal are found in State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 585--586, 144 N.W.2d 879, 880, 'On a claim of insufficient evidence to support a conviction, we view the evidence in the light most favora......
  • State v. McClelland, No. 52825
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 14, 1969
    ...generate something more than suspicion, speculation or conjecture. State v. Myers, 253 Iowa 271, 274, 111 N.W.2d 660, 662; State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 586, 144 N.W.2d 879, In a criminal case, however, the cause should be submitted to the jury and the court should not direct a verdict of a......
  • State v. Evans, No. 53070
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 10, 1969
    ...generate something more than suspicion, speculation or conjecture. State v. Myers, 253 Iowa 271, 274, 111 N.W.2d 660, 662; State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 586, 144 N.W.2d 879, 'In a criminal case, however, the cause should be submitted to the jury and the court should not direct a verdict of ......
  • Fryer v. State, No. 66755
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 27, 1982
    ...While the mere presence of applicant at the scene of the crime does not prove that he aided and abetted its commission, State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 586, 144 N.W.2d 879, 881 (1966), aiding and abetting need not be shown by direct proof. It may be inferred from circumstantial evidence inclu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • State v. Kittelson, No. 52889
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 14, 1969
    ...there are several hours of daylight left after 5:00 P.M. on August 23rd. Several rules germane to this appeal are found in State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 585--586, 144 N.W.2d 879, 880, 'On a claim of insufficient evidence to support a conviction, we view the evidence in the light most favora......
  • State v. McClelland, No. 52825
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 14, 1969
    ...generate something more than suspicion, speculation or conjecture. State v. Myers, 253 Iowa 271, 274, 111 N.W.2d 660, 662; State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 586, 144 N.W.2d 879, In a criminal case, however, the cause should be submitted to the jury and the court should not direct a verdict of a......
  • State v. Evans, No. 53070
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 10, 1969
    ...generate something more than suspicion, speculation or conjecture. State v. Myers, 253 Iowa 271, 274, 111 N.W.2d 660, 662; State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 586, 144 N.W.2d 879, 'In a criminal case, however, the cause should be submitted to the jury and the court should not direct a verdict of ......
  • Fryer v. State, No. 66755
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 27, 1982
    ...While the mere presence of applicant at the scene of the crime does not prove that he aided and abetted its commission, State v. Daves, 259 Iowa 584, 586, 144 N.W.2d 879, 881 (1966), aiding and abetting need not be shown by direct proof. It may be inferred from circumstantial evidence inclu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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