State v. Heed

Decision Date31 August 1874
Citation57 Mo. 252
PartiesSTATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent, v. JOHN C. HEED, Appellant.
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from Mercer Circuit Court.

J. H. Perryman & J. H. Shanklin, for Appellant: cited in argument, 2 Bish. Cr. Pr., 866, et seq.

James P. Thomas, for Respondent: cited in argument, Comm. vs. Warden, 11 Metc., 406.WAGNER, Judge, delivered the opinion of the court.

The defendant was indicted in the Mercer County Circuit Court for perjury, and convicted of that crime.

The material charge in the indictment was, that on a trial before a justice of the peace, wherein the defendant was plaintiff, and one Willis Campbell was defendant, the plaintiff swore that on a certain occasion Campbell drove through his enclosed field. The only direct testimony to the falsity of the defendant's oath was given by Campbell; but there was some other testimony which had a tendency to corroborate or sustain him. Defendant also introduced other witnesses, who in a certain degree, supported the truth of his evidence before the justice.

We have no intention of commenting upon the evidence, as had the jury found either way there would have been testimony on which they might have found their verdict.

The only question necessary to notice is presented by the declarations of law given by the court.

The first instruction given for the State was to the effect, that if the jury believed beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant in the suit before the justice of the peace, willfully, corruptly and falsely testified that Campbell drove his wagon and team through defendant's enclosed field, they should find him guilty.

The second instruction for the prosecution was, that the jury could not acquit from a mere possible doubt; but that it should be a reasonable doubt.

The first instruction given for the defendant told the jury, that the evidence of the defendant in the suit before the justice of the peace, was presumed to be true, and that that presumption must be removed by the evidence of two witnesses, or the evidence of one witness with such other corroborating circumstances as were necessary to overcome the presumption and establish his guilt.

The fourth instruction which was asked by the defendant, and refused by the court, asserted the proposition that before the jury could convict, it was necessary to establish the falsity of the oath taken by him by the evidence of two witnesses, or by the evidence of one witness with such other corroborating circumstances, as would be equal to a second witness.

The above are the only instructions requiring any note; as the correctness of the ruling on the others cannot be disputed.

The instruction in reference to a reasonable doubt is faulty and subject to criticism. It should have been followed by a more precise and accurate explanation of the terms, so as...

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36 cases
  • State v. Brinkley
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 4 Septiembre 1945
    ...either by two or more credible witnesses, or by one such witness plus proof of circumstances strongly corroborating such witness. State v. Heed, 57 Mo. 252; v. Hunter, 181 Mo. 316, 80 S.W. 955; State v. Hardiman, 277 Mo. 229, 209 S.W. 879; State v. McGee, 341 Mo. 151, 106 S.W.2d 480; State ......
  • State v. Evans
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 1 Marzo 1916
    ... ... to instruct the jury to find the defendant not guilty, which ... instruction was asked by defendant at the close of the ... State's case, because the evidence was not sufficient to ... establish the contract of marriage. State v. Heed, ... 57 Mo. 252; State v. Reeves, 97 Mo. 668; State ... v. Eckler, 106 Mo. 593; State v. Long, 238 Mo ... 393; State v. Bruton, 253 Mo. 361. (2) The court ... erred in failing to fully cover all the law in the case in ... the instructions given for that the evidence of the defense ... ...
  • State v. Shaeffer
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 21 Junio 1886
    ... ... 480; Peck v. Richey, 66 Mo ... 11. (8) The court incorrectly declared the law as to ... reasonable doubt. U. S. v. McKee, 3 Dillon, 565; ... U. S. v. Babcock, 3 Dillon, 621; State v ... Owens, 79 Mo. 619; State v. Nueslein, 25 Mo ... 111; State v. Evans, 55 Mo. 460; State v ... Heed, 57 Mo. 252; State v. Leeper, 78 Mo. 470 ... (9) The evidence wholly fails to establish any crime. (10) ... The record shows this to be a proceeding carried on in the ... name of the state to further the private interests of the ... prosecuting witness ...          B. G ... Boone, ... ...
  • The State v. Richardson
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 12 Marzo 1913
    ...test, it becomes very necessary to inquire into the reason for the rule in perjury cases. The reason for the rule, as stated in State v. Heed, 57 Mo. 252, is as "'In proof of the crime of perjury also it was formerly held that two witnesses were necessary, because otherwise there would be n......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Section 14.22 Fraud, Deceit, or Perjury Committed by Witness or Party
    • United States
    • The Missouri Bar Civil Trial Practice 2015 Supp Chapter 14 Motions for New Trial in Civil Jury Cases
    • Invalid date
    ...the level of proof might need to rise to the level required to prove a criminal conviction for such a motion to succeed. See State v. Heed, 57 Mo. 252, 254 (1874); Sly v. Union Depot Ry. Co.,36 S.W. 235, 238 (Mo. 1896). In an as-of-yet unpublished opinion, the Eastern District of the Missou......

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