State v. Houston, No. 52656

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSTUART; All Justices concur except BECKER, J., who concurs in the result and RAWLINGS; RAWLINGS
Citation158 N.W.2d 158,261 Iowa 1369
Decision Date09 April 1968
Docket NumberNo. 52656
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Paul Joseph HOUSTON, Appellant.

Page 158

158 N.W.2d 158
261 Iowa 1369
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Paul Joseph HOUSTON, Appellant.
No. 52656.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
April 9, 1968.

[261 Iowa 1371]

Page 160

Paul Joseph Houston pro se.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., James C. Sell, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Edward N. Wehr, Scott County Atty., for appellee.

STUART, Justice.

Defendant was convicted of receiving and concealing stolen property, Iowa Code, section 712.1, in Scott County District Court on March 8, 1967. In a separate hearing on March 20, 1967 the jury found defendant was a habitual criminal. He has appealed pro se.

I. Defendant claims the trial court erred in failing to sustain his motion for directed verdict. 'In considering a motion for a directed verdict the evidence, of course, is to be viewed in the light most favorable to the party against whom the motion is directed.' State v. Estrella, 257 Iowa 462, 465, 133 N.W.2d 97, 99; State v. Frink, 255 Iowa 59, 64, 120 N.W.2d 432, 435.

Gordon Martz noticed six cattle were missing from his south farm in Scott County on the morning of January 7, 1966. Four of the missing cattle were black and black white-faced steers and the other two were Herefords. One of the missing black white-faced steers was a pet. Mr. Martz called the [261 Iowa 1372] sheriff. That afternoon, Martz, while looking through the back pens at the New Liberty Sale Barn found four of his six missing cattle in one pen including his pet steer and again notified the sheriff.

Two men from the Scott County sheriff's office went to the sale barn. It was determined from the records there that Jon Kennedy, Route 2, Davenport (Ricker Hill) had consigned the four cattle identified by Mr. Martz. They proceeded to the Ricker Hill farm and found the two missing Herefords in a small enclosure rented by defendant. They were identified by Martz by his brand. About 5:30 p.m. the officers arrested defendant at his residence, advised him of his constitutional rights and took him to the Scott County jail.

Clara Karns, owner of the Ricker Hill farm, testified she rented defendant the two acres on which the two Herefords were found. Jon Kennedy was often seen on the land rented to defendant. Defendant testified he knew nothing of Kennedy's business and had let Kennedy use the property for $6.00 per month. Mr. Crees, a hog buyer for Oscar Mayer in Davenport, testified Kennedy and defendant delivered 31 hogs to Oscar Mayer on December 7, 1965. Those hogs were 31 of 34 which had been stolen from a Scott County farmer December 3, 1965. The three remaining hogs were found on the same Ricker Hill acreage rented to defendant. At the time of trial, the Scott County sheriff's office was still looking for Jon Kennedy concerning larceny of domestic animals. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the state it appears to be sufficient. The trial court correctly submitted the case to the jury.

II. Defendant contends error and prejudice in that the defendant was questioned by State's attorney in the presence of the jury with regard to the type and number of prior felony convictions after defense attorney during his direct examination stated: 'For the purposes of the record, the defense will stipulate that if Mr. Houston were asked the question by the county attorney if he'd ever committed a felony, his answer would be yes.'

Immediately thereafter on cross-examination, the following took place: [261 Iowa 1373] 'Q. More than one? Mr. McGrath: I'll object to that as beyond the scope of cross-examination. The court: Sustained.

'Q. (By Mr. Berger)--Have you ever been convicted of the crime of larceny? Mr. McGrath: I'm going to object to that, and the county attorney knows * * * The Court: Sustained. Mr. McGrath: * * * that he's doing this only to prejudice the jury. The Court: I might have to call a mistrial if you persist in that. Let's not go into that. Go ahead and cross-examine. Mr. Berger: All right.'

Page 161

The trial court did not permit cross-examination of defendant on prior convictions of felonies as shown in the portion of the transcript set forth above. Defense counsel did not request a mistrial or the admonishment of the jury. Neither defendant nor trial court perceived material prejudice. We find no abuse of discretion by the trial court, or such misconduct on the part of the county attorney to deprive defendant of a fair trial.

We might observe the question 'More than one?' was entirely proper and it was error to sustain the objection. State v. Williams, 197 Iowa 813, 819, 197 N.W. 991, 994; State v. Jensen, 245 Iowa 1363, 1367, 66 N.W.2d 480, 482.

III. The state did not call Richard Lee Paulsen, a witness listed in the information. Defendant claims this to be reversible error. We do not agree. The law does not require the State of Iowa to call every witness listed in the minutes of testimony which is part of the county attorney's true information. We need not determine whether defendant would, under this record, have been entitled to an instruction on the inference to be drawn from such failure, see State v. Parker, Iowa, 151 N.W.2d 505, 512, as no such instruction was requested. State v. Jensen, 245 Iowa 1363, 66 N.W.2d 480, 484, and citations.

IV. Appellant claims he was entitled to dismissal of his case under Iowa Code, sections 795.2 and 795.3 because three terms of the Scott County District Court expired before he was brought to trial, without a showing of good cause for continuance by the state.

There is no merit in this contention. Defendant was represented by counsel of his own choosing at all times. No [261 Iowa 1374] demand for...

To continue reading

Request your trial
16 practice notes
  • State v. Bakker, No. 59146
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 18, 1978
    ...counter to the rule we can presume the regularity of actions of officials in the absence of a showing to the contrary. State v. Houston, 261 Iowa 1369, 1374, 158 N.W.2d 158, 161 (1968); State v. Sefcheck, 261 Iowa 1159, 1167, 157 N.W.2d 128, 133 Defendant makes no claim §§ 160.2 and 160.3 a......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 56930
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 16, 1974
    ...however, no recognition is accorded said affidavits. See In re Adoption of Blanchard, 179 N.W.2d 441, 442 (Iowa 1970); State v. Houston, 261 Iowa 1369, 158 N.W.2d 158, 161 (1968); Code § 793.17; Iowa R.Civ.P. II. We turn now to the November 8th judgment, quoted above. Code § 711.3 provides,......
  • State v. Proulx, No. 56835
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 20, 1977
    ...230 Iowa 42, 53, 296 N.W. 770, 776, 146 A.L.R. 315. See also State v. Hellickson, 162 N.W.2d 390, 394 (Iowa 1968); State v. Houston, 261 Iowa 1369, 1374, 158 N.W.2d 158, 161; Thrasher v. Haynes, 221 Iowa 1137, 1141, 264 N.W. 915, 917. Consequently, this court concludes that Corporal Laufenb......
  • Parrott v. Haugh, No. 52903
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 7, 1968
    ...by counsel throughout the proceeding. Under our decisions we hold petitioner waived his right to a speedy trial. State v. Houston, Iowa, 158 N.W.2d 158, filed April 9, 1968; State v. Dillon, 258 Iowa 784, 785, 786, 139 N.W.2d 925, 926, 927; State v. Satterfield, 257 Iowa 1193, 1195, 1196, 1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • State v. Bakker, No. 59146
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 18, 1978
    ...counter to the rule we can presume the regularity of actions of officials in the absence of a showing to the contrary. State v. Houston, 261 Iowa 1369, 1374, 158 N.W.2d 158, 161 (1968); State v. Sefcheck, 261 Iowa 1159, 1167, 157 N.W.2d 128, 133 Defendant makes no claim §§ 160.2 and 160.3 a......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 56930
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 16, 1974
    ...however, no recognition is accorded said affidavits. See In re Adoption of Blanchard, 179 N.W.2d 441, 442 (Iowa 1970); State v. Houston, 261 Iowa 1369, 158 N.W.2d 158, 161 (1968); Code § 793.17; Iowa R.Civ.P. II. We turn now to the November 8th judgment, quoted above. Code § 711.3 provides,......
  • State v. Proulx, No. 56835
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 20, 1977
    ...230 Iowa 42, 53, 296 N.W. 770, 776, 146 A.L.R. 315. See also State v. Hellickson, 162 N.W.2d 390, 394 (Iowa 1968); State v. Houston, 261 Iowa 1369, 1374, 158 N.W.2d 158, 161; Thrasher v. Haynes, 221 Iowa 1137, 1141, 264 N.W. 915, 917. Consequently, this court concludes that Corporal Laufenb......
  • Parrott v. Haugh, No. 52903
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 7, 1968
    ...by counsel throughout the proceeding. Under our decisions we hold petitioner waived his right to a speedy trial. State v. Houston, Iowa, 158 N.W.2d 158, filed April 9, 1968; State v. Dillon, 258 Iowa 784, 785, 786, 139 N.W.2d 925, 926, 927; State v. Satterfield, 257 Iowa 1193, 1195, 1196, 1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT