State v. Harless, No. 49190

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtGARFIELD
Citation249 Iowa 530,86 N.W.2d 210
Docket NumberNo. 49190
Decision Date12 November 1957
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. James Elwood HARLESS, Appellant.

Page 210

86 N.W.2d 210
249 Iowa 530
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
James Elwood HARLESS, Appellant.
No. 49190.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Nov. 12, 1957.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 17, 1958.

Page 211

Lawyer, Lawyer & Ray and Don Hise, Des Moines, and Joseph L. Phelan, Fort Madison, for appellant.

Norman A. Erbe, Atty. Gen., Don C. Swanson, Hugh V. Faulkner, Asst. Attys. Gen., and R. N. Johnson, County Atty., Fort Madison, for appellee.

GARFIELD, Justice.

A jury found defendant guilty of the crime of attempting to break and enter in violation of section 708.10, Code, 1954, I.C.A., and of being an habitual criminal as defined by section 747.5. From judgment thereon defendant has appealed.

I. Appellant first contends the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction of attempting to break and enter. There is clearly sufficient proof someone attempted to break and enter Greenwald's Supermarket in Fort Madison about 10:30 p.m. on July 20, 1956. But it is argued defendant's connection with the crime has not been sufficiently shown.

In considering this claim we view the evidence in the [249 Iowa 532] light most favorable to the state. We are committed to the rule that a verdict of guilty is binding upon us unless we are satisfied it is without substantial support in the evidence or is clearly against the weight thereof. State v. Poffenbarger, 247 Iowa 552, 554, 74 N.W.2d 585, 586, and citations; State v. Case, 247 Iowa 1019, 1030, 75 N.W.2d 233, 241.

About 10:30 on the night in question Mr. and Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Greenwald were driving by the supermarket when they heard the burglar alarm go off. They drove down an alley to the rear of the building where they saw an automobile parked in a hidden position about five to ten feet from the rear doors. After about five minutes the driver of the automobile hesitated and then whirled the car around and drove rapidly toward the street with his lights out. The Powells and Mrs. Greenwald gave chase. After they had driven about a half block they observed the number on the license plate as 77-690K. They had recognized the '77' while the car was parked at the rear of the building. The driver of the other car tried to elude his pursuers by driving as fast as 60 miles per hour and in other ways and soon succeeded in doing so. The Powells then immediately called the police and gave them a description of the automobile and its license number.

The Powells saw no car at the rear of the supermarket other than the one that escaped and no person there other than the driver. They were unable, however, to see the driver clearly enough to identify him as the defendant.

The police captain radioed to the other officers the description and license number of the car that eluded the Powells. He then went to the supermarket and found that a strip along the front door had been loosened and partly broken off. Also that the rear door had been jimmied and pried with some instrument and wood around the latch was 'chewed' away.

State highway patrolman Simpson evidently heard the radio broadcast of the description and license number of the car that eluded the Powells. He was at Burlington, 18 miles north of Fort Madison, and parked his car at the south edge of the city on the state highway leading from Fort Madison

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to look for a car with license number 77-690K. About 11 o'clock the automobile he was looking for approached from the south at 90 to 100 miles per [249 Iowa 533] hour. Simpson pursued it at speeds as high as 100 to 105 miles an hour. When defendant first saw the patrolman's red light he seemed to increase speed. When Simpson overtook the automobile it was traveling between 75 and 80 miles per hour and was being driven by defendant.

The patrolman and two Burlington police officers placed defendant under arrest. He did not ask Simpson anything or say a word until they got to the Burlington police station. The arresting officers found a number of articles in the car driven by defendant which were preserved and received in evidence at the trial. The Powells identified the car at the police station the next day as the one they had seen.

The articles found in the car were a pair of leather gloves found under the front seat, another pair of gloves and cotton flannel mittens found in the trunk, a license plate with a different number, a bag which appeared to contain a raincoat but in fact it contained two hood masks, a gasoline tank nozzle and two gasoline tanks in the trunk, a putty knife, saw, screwdriver, nail puller, wrench, hedge trimmer, crowbar, bolt cutter, shovel and dirty torn...

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38 practice notes
  • State v. Olson, No. 49158
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 12 Novembre 1957
    ...a new trial unless it appears to have been so prejudicial as to deprive defendant of a fair trial. State v. Harless, 248 Iowa ----, 86 N.W.2d 210, 213, and citations; State v. Miskell, supra; State v. Warren, 242 Iowa 1176, 1189, 47 N.W.2d 221, 228, and citations; State v. Caringello, 227 I......
  • State v. Levy, No. 52602
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 18 Luglio 1968
    ...relevant to the issue involved and of sufficient probative value to justify their admission in evidence. As we said in State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 534--535, 86 N.W.2d 210, 213: 'Instruments found in the possession of accused which, although not identified as those actually used in commi......
  • State v. Carey, No. 52942
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 11 Febbraio 1969
    ...v. Wesson, 260 Iowa 331, 149 N.W.2d 190, 192 and citations; State v. Stodola, 257 Iowa 863, 865, 134 N.W.2d 920, 921; State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 532, 86 N.W.2d 210, 211. Defendant's argument is directed toward the circumstances under which he gained entry to the house. He asserts there......
  • State v. Kittelson, No. 52889
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 14 Gennaio 1969
    ...exhibits were not identified as stolen property. Nevertheless under the evidentiary picture here they were admissible. State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 534, 86 N.W.2d 210, 213 states, 'Instruments found in the possession of accused which, although not identified as those actually used in com......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
38 cases
  • State v. Olson, No. 49158
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 12 Novembre 1957
    ...a new trial unless it appears to have been so prejudicial as to deprive defendant of a fair trial. State v. Harless, 248 Iowa ----, 86 N.W.2d 210, 213, and citations; State v. Miskell, supra; State v. Warren, 242 Iowa 1176, 1189, 47 N.W.2d 221, 228, and citations; State v. Caringello, 227 I......
  • State v. Levy, No. 52602
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 18 Luglio 1968
    ...relevant to the issue involved and of sufficient probative value to justify their admission in evidence. As we said in State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 534--535, 86 N.W.2d 210, 213: 'Instruments found in the possession of accused which, although not identified as those actually used in commi......
  • State v. Carey, No. 52942
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 11 Febbraio 1969
    ...v. Wesson, 260 Iowa 331, 149 N.W.2d 190, 192 and citations; State v. Stodola, 257 Iowa 863, 865, 134 N.W.2d 920, 921; State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 532, 86 N.W.2d 210, 211. Defendant's argument is directed toward the circumstances under which he gained entry to the house. He asserts there......
  • State v. Kittelson, No. 52889
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 14 Gennaio 1969
    ...exhibits were not identified as stolen property. Nevertheless under the evidentiary picture here they were admissible. State v. Harless, 249 Iowa 530, 534, 86 N.W.2d 210, 213 states, 'Instruments found in the possession of accused which, although not identified as those actually used in com......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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