State v. Graves, No. 200-80

Docket NºNo. 200-80
Citation140 Vt. 202, 436 A.2d 755
Case DateSeptember 01, 1981
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Vermont

Page 755

436 A.2d 755
140 Vt. 202
STATE of Vermont
v.
Deborah Lynn GRAVES.
No. 200-80.
Supreme Court of Vermont.
Sept. 1, 1981.

Page 756

[140 Vt. 203] Mark J. Keller, Chittenden County State's Atty. and Robert V. Simpson, Jr., Deputy State's Atty., Burlington, for plaintiff.

James L. Morse, Defender Gen., William A. Nelson, Appellate Defender, and Ellen Cooghan, Law Clerk, Montpelier, on the brief, for defendant.

Before [140 Vt. 202] BARNEY, C. J., and LARROW, BILLINGS, HILL and UNDERWOOD, JJ.

[140 Vt. 203] UNDERWOOD, Justice.

The defendant was charged with the crime of uttering a false prescription, in violation of 18 V.S.A. § 4223(e). After a trial and a jury verdict of guilty, the defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal, notwithstanding the verdict, on the ground that the State had failed to prove that the defendant knew that the prescription was false. The court denied the motion and entered a judgment of conviction on the verdict. The defendant appeals.

The appeal raises two issues: whether the State proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that (1) the prescription was false, [140 Vt. 204] and (2) the defendant offered the prescription knowing of its falsity.

On September 28, 1979, the defendant, then 22 years old, entered a pharmacy wearing a neck brace and presented a prescription. It bore the following printed notation at the top: "Central Vermont Medical Center, Inc." It was dated September 28, 1979, and was made out to Linda Ayers, of Bolton, age 23. It prescribed four milligrams of pain killer called Dilaudid, and was purportedly signed by Dr. A. B. Bresseau. Under his signature appeared the handwritten Drug Enforcement Agency number, AB1118835.

The pharmacy knew that the Central Vermont Medical Center had reported the theft of prescription blanks from its emergency room. The owner of the pharmacy therefore became suspicious and called the police department. When a policeman arrived, the defendant explained to him that a man named Charles had asked her to get the prescription filled for his girlfriend while he did some errands. She claimed that she had danced with him at a Burlington discotheque and that he was five feet six inches tall and blonde, but that she did not know his last name or where he lived. She expressly denied any knowledge that the prescription was false.

The jury obviously did not believe her story, because it brought in a verdict of guilty, but the State has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable...

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4 practice notes
  • State v. Roy, No. 87-536
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 13 Enero 1989
    ...A.2d 372, 374 (1982) (larceny); State v. Peters, 141 Vt. at 348, 450 A.2d at 336 (assault on a law enforcement officer); State v. Graves, 140 Vt. 202, 205, 436 A.2d 755, 757 (1981) (uttering false prescription). But see State v. Kerr, 143 Vt. 597, 604-05, 470 A.2d 670, 674 (1983) (no scient......
  • State v. Day, No. 86-322
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 17 Junio 1988
    ...Audette, 149 Vt. at 220, 543 A.2d at 1316 (general intent a "necessary ingredient of the crime of kidnapping"); State v. Graves, Page 1064 140 Vt. 202, 205, 436 A.2d 755, 757 (1981) (knowledge of falsity an implicit element of the crime of uttering a false prescription); State v. Sidway, 13......
  • State v. Searles, No. 91-038
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 15 Enero 1993
    ...State v. Hanson, 141 Vt. 228, 232, 446 A.2d 372, 374 (1982) (larceny--intent to permanently deprive owner of property); State v. Graves, 140 Vt. 202, 205, 436 A.2d 755, 757 (1981) (uttering a Page 1283 false prescription--knowledge of falsity); State v. Sidway, 139 Vt. 480, 484, 431 A.2d 12......
  • State v. Gracey, No. 360-80
    • United States
    • 1 Septiembre 1981
    ...whether or not to take the breath test. There is no reason to believe that the defendant would have inferred this right from the Public [140 Vt. 202] Defender Form. This is especially true here, where the officer read the Public Defender Form to the defendant about fifteen minutes after rea......
4 cases
  • State v. Roy, No. 87-536
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 13 Enero 1989
    ...A.2d 372, 374 (1982) (larceny); State v. Peters, 141 Vt. at 348, 450 A.2d at 336 (assault on a law enforcement officer); State v. Graves, 140 Vt. 202, 205, 436 A.2d 755, 757 (1981) (uttering false prescription). But see State v. Kerr, 143 Vt. 597, 604-05, 470 A.2d 670, 674 (1983) (no scient......
  • State v. Day, No. 86-322
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 17 Junio 1988
    ...Audette, 149 Vt. at 220, 543 A.2d at 1316 (general intent a "necessary ingredient of the crime of kidnapping"); State v. Graves, Page 1064 140 Vt. 202, 205, 436 A.2d 755, 757 (1981) (knowledge of falsity an implicit element of the crime of uttering a false prescription); State v. Sidway, 13......
  • State v. Searles, No. 91-038
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 15 Enero 1993
    ...State v. Hanson, 141 Vt. 228, 232, 446 A.2d 372, 374 (1982) (larceny--intent to permanently deprive owner of property); State v. Graves, 140 Vt. 202, 205, 436 A.2d 755, 757 (1981) (uttering a Page 1283 false prescription--knowledge of falsity); State v. Sidway, 139 Vt. 480, 484, 431 A.2d 12......
  • State v. Gracey, No. 360-80
    • United States
    • 1 Septiembre 1981
    ...whether or not to take the breath test. There is no reason to believe that the defendant would have inferred this right from the Public [140 Vt. 202] Defender Form. This is especially true here, where the officer read the Public Defender Form to the defendant about fifteen minutes after rea......

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