State v. Hickey

Decision Date02 March 1977
Docket NumberNo. 3642,3642
Citation114 Ariz. 394,561 P.2d 315
PartiesSTATE of Arizona, Appellee, v. Douglas Wayne HICKEY, Appellant.
CourtArizona Supreme Court

Bruce E. Babbitt, Atty. Gen. by William J. Schafer III and Robert S. Golden, Asst. Attys. Gen., Phoenix, for appellee.

Thomas R. McCowan, Prescott, for appellant.

HOLOHAN, Justice.

The defendant, Douglas Wayne Hickey, was tried and convicted of petty theft with a prior conviction. He was sentenced to confinement for three to five years in the Arizona State Prison. The defendant's probation for the prior conviction of burglary was revoked, and he was sentenced to confinement for three to five years, to run concurrently with the sentence already imposed. The defendant appeals from both the petty theft conviction and the probation revocation. We took jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 47(e)(5), Rules of the Supreme Court, 17A A.R.S., and consolidate the appeals.

The defendant presents four issues for our consideration:

I. Was the accomplice's testimony corroborated?

II. Was the defendant's extrajudicial statement admissible?

III. Is the statute providing for increased punishment for petty theft with a prior conviction constitutional?

IV. Should the defendant's probation have been revoked?

The evidence presented at trial was that the defendant and a friend, Wayne Dickinson, were drinking together on the evening of December 26, 1975. They planned to go hunting the following day. Late in the night of the 26th they began driving around the area of Camp Verde, Arizona. Dickinson was driving the two in his Ford Bronco. Finding that the vehicle was low on gas, Dickinson drove to an area occupied by the road equipment of Skousen Construction Company. While Dickinson siphoned some gas from one of the construction company vehicles, the defendant piled some cases of motor oil and other items into the bed of a Skousen pickup truck which was parked nearby. After Dickinson had secured gas for his vehicle he drove away from the site and the defendant drove off in the Skousen pickup truck. The two men met a few miles from the equipment storage site and transferred the stolen items from the pickup truck to the Dickinson vehicle. Both the defendant and Dickinson drove around in the Skousen vehicle until they wrecked it. They abandoned the pickup truck and left the area in Dickinson's vehicle.

The defendant claims he was convicted solely on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice contrary to the requirements of A.R.S. § 13--136.* The primary requirement of the statute is that there be some evidence, direct or circumstantial, which is legally sufficient to lend credibility to the statements of the accomplice. It must be evidence which affords the jury a sufficient basis for believing the testimony of the accomplice. State v. Sheldon, 91 Ariz. 73, 369 P.2d 917 (1962).

The corroborating evidence established that the theft occurred between midnight and 7:00 in the morning. The Skousen night watchman made his last inspection near midnight, and he discovered the pickup and other items missing when he arrived at 7:00 a.m. The defendant and Dickinson were seen together in the Ford Bronco shortly after midnight by a Deputy Hopper. When questioned by Deputy Huff the defendant claimed he went home before midnight, the 26th, but the defendant changed his story when confronted with the fact of the encounter with Deputy Hopper. The defendant then claimed he went home around 1:00 o'clock a.m.

It was reasonable for the jury to conclude that at least two men were involved in the theft. Dickinson was driving one vehicle, and a second vehicle was taken which was abandoned several miles from the place of the theft. The fact that the vehicle had been wrecked was confirmed by independent witnesses.

The circumstances surrounding the theft plus the defendant's attempt to fabricate his time of arrival at home lend credence to the testimony of Dickinson and were legally sufficient to prove the corroboration required by the statute.

Defendant's second contention is that his extrajudicial statement was admitted into evidence and commented upon in the prosecutor's final arguments. A deputy sheriff testified that when he was transporting the defendant from Mayer to Camp Verde the latter asked him, 'what kind of a deal they gave informants.' The defendant...

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10 cases
  • State v. Lopez
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1992
    ...in an ordered society and to provide punishment for those who engage in such conduct resides with the legislature. State v. Hickey, 114 Ariz. 394, 561 P.2d 315 (1977). We see no constitutional bar to the legislature's determination that the children of Arizona require additional protection ......
  • State v. Thompson
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • March 12, 2003
    ...v. DePiano, 187 Ariz. 27, 38, 926 P.2d 494, 505 (1996) (Zlaket, J., concurring in part, dissenting in part); State v. Hickey, 114 Ariz. 394, 396-97, 561 P.2d 315, 317-18 (1977). Second, a statute must not be written so vaguely that it "impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policem......
  • State v. Bravo
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • October 15, 2015
  • State v. Leeman
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • June 14, 1978
    ...in defining criminal offenses, so long as the classification of an act is not totally arbitrary or capricious. State v. Hickey, 114 Ariz. 394, 561 P.2d 315 (1977). Of course, the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment places restrictions on a state's "Although no precise formul......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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