State v. Hunter

Decision Date10 May 1904
Citation181 Mo. 316,80 S.W. 955
PartiesSTATE v. HUNTER.
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

12. On a prosecution for perjury, the court instructed that, if the jury should find that defendant made any statement in relation to the offense charged in the information after such offense was alleged to have been committed, the jury must consider such statements together, that what the defendant said against himself the law presumed to be true, and that what he said for himself the jury were not bound to believe. Held, that the instruction was erroneous.

13. Rev. St. 1899, § 2478, provides that, when any person has knowledge of the commission of any misdemeanor, he may make affidavit before any person authorized to administer oaths, setting forth the offense and the person or persons charged therewith, and file the same for the use of the prosecuting attorney, whose duty it shall be to file an information on the affidavit. Held, that the fact that an information charging one person with the crime of perjury was based on an affidavit which charged the accused and another jointly did not render the information invalid.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Warren County; E. M. Hughes, Judge.

Miner Hunter was convicted of perjury, and he appeals. Reversed.

J. W. Delventhal and E. Rosenberger & Son, for appellant. The Attorney General and C. D. Corum, for the State.

BURGESS, J.

On the 24th day of November, 1902, there was pending in the circuit court of Warren county an action by the defendant Hunter, a young negro man, against the Wabash Railroad Company, for damages for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained by Hunter by reason of the negligence and wrongful acts of defendant's servants and employés in charge of one of its trains, upon which he was a passenger. On said 24th day of November said cause of Hunter against the Wabash Railroad was tried by the court and jury; the trial resulting in a verdict and judgment for plaintiff in the sum of $5,000. J. B. Garber, Esq., then prosecuting attorney of Warren county, and one Vincent McShame were attorneys for Hunter in the prosecuting of said suit, and Judge C. E. Peers, a member of the Warrenton bar, represented the defendant. Shortly after the verdict was rendered in said cause Peers obtained from one William Pleasants, one of Hunter's witnesses, an admission that he had perjured himself on the trial of said cause. On December 13, 1902, N. P. Kemp, a private detective for the Wabash Railroad Company, appeared at Warrenton, and with the aid of J. B. Garber, prosecuting attorney, and also attorney for Hunter in his civil action against the Wabash Railroad Company, an alleged confession was obtained from Hunter, wherein Hunter admitted that he had obtained his judgment on perjured testimony and that his testimony on the trial of that cause was false. Hunter then, in the presence of Kemp, Garber, Judge Peers, Collector Ordelheide, and Sheriff Polster, was induced to sign a satisfaction of his $5,000 judgment, and to give an order to the clerk to satisfy said judgment on the records, stating it had been obtained on perjured testimony. At the same time Hunter was induced to enter a stipulation with Judge Peers, wherein Hunter again admitted that he had obtained the judgment on perjured testimony, and consented that this division of the Supreme Court might reverse the judgment of Hunter v. Wabash R. Co. On December 16, 1902, J. B. Garber, prosecuting attorney and attorney for Hunter in his civil action, had Hunter brought to his office and make an affidavit that his former testimony was false. After this no action was taken in the matter. Hunter was permitted to go at large.

Thereafter on January 6, 1903, M. P. Kemp filed an affidavit in the Warren county circuit court, charging the defendant and one Wm. Pleasants jointly with the crime of perjury. The defendant was thereupon arrested, and on January 13, 1903, a special term of court was held. The record shows that on said day defendant was arraigned and pleaded not guilty, but the affidavits in support of defendant's motion for a new trial show that defendant never was arraigned, but that he was in jail and never was brought into court for the purpose of pleading. On April 23, 1903, defendant filed his motion to disqualify the sheriff, alleging that the sheriff had manifested a personal interest in and about securing the conviction of the defendant; that he had used extreme and arbitrary measures to secure the conviction of the defendant; that he was duly biased and prejudiced against the defendant, etc. After the motion had been argued, the court called the sheriff to the stand, over the objections of the defendant, and permitted the sheriff to testify. The sheriff claimed he had no bias or prejudice against the defendant. On cross-examination Sheriff Polster admitted that he had refused defendant's counsel permission to advise with defendant, unless he (the sheriff) was present and heard the consultation, and that he would not allow defendant's counsel to advise with the defendant until after Judge Hughes had issued an order in chambers directing him to do so; that he was satisfied with defendant's guilt, and had stated that all the lawyers in the state of Missouri could not keep the defendant out of the pen; that when he conveyed defendant to Montgomery City under a writ of habeas corpus he instructed the jailer not to permit any one to talk to him. The court overruled the motion and defendant duly excepted. When the case was called for trial, before the defendant would announce as to whether he was ready for trial, he demanded of the court that the clerk be ordered to furnish him with a certified copy of the information in this cause, whereupon the clerk was ordered to furnish defendant with one. By the affidavits filed in support of the motion for a new trial it appears that the clerk never did furnish defendant or his counsel with a certified copy of the information. Before the jury was sworn defendant's counsel requested of the court that the clerk be ordered to deliver to the defendant a list of the jurymen who had been found by the court qualified to sit as such in his case, which request was overruled by the court, and defendant then and there saved an exception. At the close of all the evidence the defendant interposed a demurrer to all the evidence, which was refused, and an exception saved.

The court, of its own motion and over the objection and exception of defendant, instructed the jury as follows: "If the jury find, from the evidence in this case, that at the county of Warren and state of Missouri, on the 24th day of November, 1902, the cause of Miner Hunter against the Wabash Company, being a civil action for damages, was pending in and on trial before the circuit court of Warren county, Missouri, and that defendant was sworn as a witness on said...

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57 cases
  • Randol v. Kline's Incorporated
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 5, 1929
    ...the confession, to the jury. Austine v. People, 51 Ill. 236; Coffey v. State, 25 Fla. 501; DeArmond v. St. Amant, 40 La. Ann. 357; State v. Hunter, 181 Mo. 316. (d) The police court conviction reversed on appeal could be no more than prima-facie evidence of probable cause, which was overcom......
  • State v. Brinkley
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 4, 1945
    ... ... 273, 239 S.W. 480. (18) ... In perjury, defendant's testimony must be proven false, ... 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; State ... 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 v ... Kaempfer, 342 Mo. 1007, 119 S.W.2d 294. (19) In perjury, ... admissions of the defendant may not be availed of to supply ... the requirement of ... ...
  • Randol v. Kline's Inc.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 5, 1929
    ...the confession, to the jury. Austine v. People, 51 Ill, 236; Coffey v. State, 25 Fla. 501; DeArmond v. St. Amant, 40 La. Ann. 357; State v. Hunter, 181 Mo. 316. (d) The police conviction reversed on appeal could be no more than prima-facie evidence of probable cause, which was overcome by e......
  • State v. McGuire
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • June 5, 1931
    ...is therefore inadmissible. 16 C. J. 717; 1 R. C. L. 553; Underhill on Criminal Evidence (3 Ed.) 307; Conley v. State, 12 Mo. 717; State v. Hunter, 181 Mo. 316; State Murphy, 146 Mo.App. 707; State v. Hart, 292 Mo. 74, 90; State v. Keller, 263 Mo. 539; State v. Thomas, 250 Mo. 189; State v. ......
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