State v. Fields, No. 7439

Docket NºNo. 7439
Citation395 P.2d 908, 1964 NMSC 230, 74 N.M. 559
Case DateOctober 19, 1964
CourtSupreme Court of New Mexico

Page 908

395 P.2d 908
74 N.M. 559
STATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Joe Francis FIELDS, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 7439.
Supreme Court of New Mexico.
Oct. 19, 1964.

Page 909

[74 N.M. 560] Ward, Potter & Payne, Lovington, for appellant.

Earl E. Hartley, Atty. Gen., Frank Bachicha, Jr., Wayne C. Wolf, Asst. Attys. Gen., Santa Fe, for appellee.

CHAVEZ, Justice.

This is an appeal from a conviction of the crime of involuntary manslaughter, arising out of an automobile accident which occurred on U. S. Highway 180 at a point some five and two-tends miles from the west city limits of Hobbs, New Mexico.

The information accused the defendant, Joe Francis Fields, of the crime of manslaughter, contrary to Sec. 40-24-7, N.M.S.A., 1953 Comp., alleging that, on November 10, 1962, defendant unlawfully killed Dan Wallace Holladay in Lea County, New Mexico. Defendant moved for a bill of particulars, contending that the information did not disclose whether defendant was being charged with voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter and, if the charge was involuntary manslaughter, whether the charge was based upon the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, or the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner or without due caution or circumspection.

The state responded by filing a bill of particulars charging defendant with involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act, or acts not amounting to a felony, to-wit:

[74 N.M. 561] '* * * the defendant did operate an automobile upon the public highway while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, contrary to Section 64-22-2, New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1953, as amended, said illegal act not amounting to a felony, and that while so operating said automobile, he did strike a motor vehicle containing Dan Wallace Holladay and that the said Dan Wallace Holladay did then and there die and that said unlawful act was the direct and proximate cause of the death of said decedent.'

and of the crime of reckless driving, contrary to Sec. 64-22-3, N.M.S.A., 1953 Comp. The jury rendered a verdict of guilty of involuntary manslaughter and of reckless driving. From this conviction, defendant appeals.

Officer Allen W. Jones of the New Mexico state police was called as a witness for the state and testified that he was the investigating officer; that the accident occurred at a point five and two-tenths miles from the west city limits of Hobbs, New Mexico, on U. S. Highway 180, hereinafter referred to as the Carlsbad road; that the highway in the general area of the accident was straight and runs east and west, with two twenty-six-feet-wide lanes, shoulders ten-feet wide consisting of sand, gravel and 'caliche,' the surface being fairly hard packed when dry. The state introduced its exhibit No. S-1, being a

Page 910

map of the area drawn by Officer Jones, who testified that, as shown by the unscaled map, at a point east of the general area of the accident, two private roads intersected the Carlsbad road, the northern road coming from the Carlin residence and the southern road coming from the Linam residence; that at a point west of the Carlin and Linam roads, but still east of the general area of the accident, were two other roads which intersected the Carlsbad road; that the northern road at this point was a 'caliche' road; that the southern road was State Highway 8, hereinafter referred to as the Monument road; that at this intersection, a traffic control device known as a 'yellow blinker light' was placed; and that all of these roads were an undetermined distance from the estimated point of impact.

Regarding the accident itself, Officer Jones testified that he found black tire marks running from one side of the highway to the other, ending at the estimated point of impact; that these tire marks, in his opinion, were caused by skidding rather than braking; that the accident was caused by defendant's west-bound car sideswiping the east-bound car of decedent; and that the estimated point of impact was four-feet south of the south edge of the pavement, that being the lane of traffic in which the decedent was traveling. Officer Jones testified that, in his opinion based upon his training and experience as a police[74 N.M. 562] officer, the defendant was under the influence of intoxicants.

Dr. W. E. Badger, a medical doctor practicing in Hobbs, testified as to the injuries suffered by both the decedent and defendant, whom he saw at the Lea General Hospital on November 10, 1962. Regarding the physical condition of defendant, he was asked:

'Q. Now, well you state what it was, if you now recall, that Mr. Fields said to you when you offered him the last time the block [sic] alcohol test?

'A. He said, 'Lets not do it and say we did.'

'Q. Now, what, if anything, did you notice unusual about the condition of Mr. Fields?

'A. He was somewhat disheveled. His eyes were bloodshot and red. He staggered somewhat when he walked. He couldn't stand without swaying. He had odor of alcohol on his breath.

'Q. From what you observed there, did you form an opinion at that time, and do you have one now as to whether Mr. Fields at that time was under the influence of alcoholic beverages?

'A. In my opinion, he was.'

Robert Howard, a witness for the state, testified that, on the day and at the time of the accident, he was approaching the Carlsbad road from the Carlin house and, while stopped at the intersection, observed defendant's car being driven at a high rate of speed down the highway; that, because of his years of experience in drag racing and road racing, he was able to form an opinion of the speed; that in his opinion the speed of defendant's car was between 95 and 100 miles an hour; that, after defendant's car...

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18 practice notes
  • State v. Turner, No. 360
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • February 13, 1970
    ...II. Defendant does concede that subsequent instructions supplied the omission. Error, if any, was consequently cured. State v. Fields, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908 Further, under this point, defendant asserts the trial court erred in refusing to give two requested instructions. The first of th......
  • Buda v. Fulton, No. 52853
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 5, 1968
    ...Cal.App., 55 Cal.Rptr. 603; Lee v. State, 187 Kan. 566, 358 P.2d 765; State v. Oleson, 180 Neb. 546, 143 N.W.2d 917; State v. Fields, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908; Beare v. Smith, S.D., 140 N.W.2d 603; Hearn v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 411 S.W.2d 543; 52 Iowa L.Rev. 344; and 14 Drake L.Rev. [261 Io......
  • State v. Paris, No. 7828
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • March 7, 1966
    ...the owner of the permanent possession thereof.' When the instructions are taken as a whole, as they must have been, State v. Fields, 1964, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908, no essential element of larceny was omitted, and it was not error for the trial court to overrule the objection to instructio......
  • State v. Richerson, No. 1599
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • March 12, 1975
    ...at the sole request of the surgeon, a private individual, the doctrine of search and seizure would not be applicable. See State v. Fields, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908 (1964). The trial court understood that the request came from a police officer because the trial court relied on Breithaupt v.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • State v. Turner, No. 360
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • February 13, 1970
    ...II. Defendant does concede that subsequent instructions supplied the omission. Error, if any, was consequently cured. State v. Fields, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908 Further, under this point, defendant asserts the trial court erred in refusing to give two requested instructions. The first of th......
  • Buda v. Fulton, No. 52853
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 5, 1968
    ...Cal.App., 55 Cal.Rptr. 603; Lee v. State, 187 Kan. 566, 358 P.2d 765; State v. Oleson, 180 Neb. 546, 143 N.W.2d 917; State v. Fields, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908; Beare v. Smith, S.D., 140 N.W.2d 603; Hearn v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 411 S.W.2d 543; 52 Iowa L.Rev. 344; and 14 Drake L.Rev. [261 Io......
  • State v. Paris, No. 7828
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • March 7, 1966
    ...the owner of the permanent possession thereof.' When the instructions are taken as a whole, as they must have been, State v. Fields, 1964, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908, no essential element of larceny was omitted, and it was not error for the trial court to overrule the objection to instructio......
  • State v. Richerson, No. 1599
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • March 12, 1975
    ...at the sole request of the surgeon, a private individual, the doctrine of search and seizure would not be applicable. See State v. Fields, 74 N.M. 559, 395 P.2d 908 (1964). The trial court understood that the request came from a police officer because the trial court relied on Breithaupt v.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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