State v. Jennings, 54612

Citation195 N.W.2d 351
Decision Date25 February 1972
Docket NumberNo. 54612,54612
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Wayne JENNINGS, Appellant.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa

Page 351

195 N.W.2d 351
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
Wayne JENNINGS, Appellant.
No. 54612.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Feb. 25, 1972.

Page 352

Bernard J. O'Malley, Des Moines, for appellant.

Page 353

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., Richard N. Winders, Asst. Atty. Gen., Marvin V. Colton, County Atty., for appellee.

RAWLINGS, Justice.

Defendant, Wayne Jennings, was charged with the crime of conspiracy to wrongfully injure rights in property of an automobile insurance carrier. Motions to dismiss for failure to comply with requests for speedy trial were overruled. Trial jury returned a guilty verdict. Defendant's arrest of judgment and new trial motions were overruled. From judgment entered he appeals. We affirm.

The chage made is to the effect Jennings conspired with Michael (Mike) Curtis and Donald Clark to destroy Kenneth Long's automobile, thereby enabling him to recover from his insurer for the loss.

As a State's witness Long testified, in July 1969, he arranged with Curtis for the theft and disposal of the former's 1968 Chevy II car. Pursuant to agreement thus made Long obtained and gave Curtis duplicate keys to the vehicle, then awaited instructions. July 26 Long was directed to park the car near Danny Bimbi's residence and everything would then be taken care of by 'some people'. Long did as directed. The same evening he started for Burlington with Bimbi, Curtis and Kenneth Lindly. They stopped on the way at Jennings' parents' home. There Curtis left the Bimbi car and talked to Jennings. Michael Mullins later joined the group at Moravia.

That night Bimbi, Curtis, Millins, Lindly and Long stayed in Burlington. On returning to Centerville the next day they went to Bimbi's home. Long's car was then gone. He promptly reported the theft to police. Several days later Long, accompanied by Deputy Sheriff King, went to the Centerville Body Shop. There Long saw and identified his automobile which had been badly burned. He later filed a claim for theft insurance coverage and was paid.

Another prosecution witness, Donald Clark, stated he, Curtis and Jennings had an arrangement whereby stolen cars were brought to Clark's home, there stripped and disposal of the bodies effected. Several automobiles were so handled by these parties. Sometime in July 1969, Jennings visited Clark at the latter's home. Jennings then displayed a set of car keys and told Clark a 1968 Chevy II would be delivered to him that night while he was absent from home. The next morning Clark found in his garage a Chevy registered in the name of Kenneth Long. While Clark was in the process of stripping it, his wife heard a radio report to the effect an automobile had been stolen and told Don to get rid of the car. Clark then reassembled the vehicle, drove to a secluded spot and burned it, but kept the keys in order to convey a stolen job impression. He later identified and gave these keys to the investigating sheriff. Thereafter Jennings again visited Clark at his home and became angry upon learning the Chevy had been burned before being stripped because Jennings wanted the motor. The car was discovered, towed to the Centerville Body Shop and there identified by Clark. He was later charged with receiving stolen property, pled guilty and was sentenced.

Sheriff Robinson testified a car he believed to be a Chevelle was found badly burned near Clark's residence. It was towed to the Centerville Body Shop where Robinson fitted one key in the trunk. The ignition had been so melted by heat as to preclude any attempt to there fit the other key.

Daniel Bimbi, as a State's witness, said in July 1969, exact date unknown, he left Centerville and headed for Burlington accompanied by Curtis, Lindly and Long. Before their departure Bimbi saw Long's car parked near the former's residence. On the way to Burlington they stopped at Jennings' parents' home. There Curtis left the car and talked with Jennings. When Bimbi inquired of Long as to the reason for this the latter replied something is

Page 354

going to happen. At Moravia they picked up Mullins. Bimbi also testified when these men returned from Burlington the next day he was not surprised to find Long's car gone.

The State then rested. Defendant's motion for directed verdict, based on absence of essential corroboration, was overruled.

Defense evidence followed, partly supportive of a noticed alibi, in part contradicting that introduced by the State. Those testifying for defendant were Mullins, Curtis, Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Jennings (defendant's parents), and Barbara Jennings (defendant's wife).

Thereupon the State presented rebuttal evidence. First called was Glenna Hoover, mother of Jean Clark, Don's wife. This witness testified her rural home is located near the Clark residence. About 2:00 the morning of July 27th she saw two automobiles, one of which sounded like that previously seen been operated by Jennings, drive in 'over at Don's'. A few minutes later one car left.

Jean Clark, another prosecution witness, said Jennings came to her home somewhere between 11:30 and 12:30 the morning of Saturday July 26th and talked to Don. She also saw Jennings there talking to Don the following Sunday forenoon. The next day Mrs. Clark heard radio reports regarding a stolen car, went to the garage, there saw a blue Chevy and told Don to get rid of it. He admitted the car had been stolen, later telling her it had been burned.

Earl Dean Fick, casualty claims supervisor for Long's insurance carrier, testified the named insured filed claim for theft loss of his car.

Thereupon the State finally rested. Defendant's renewed motion for directed verdict was again overruled.

As aforesaid trial jury returned a guilty verdict. Defendant's subsequent motions in arrest of judgment and for new trial were overruled and he was sentenced.

In substance the issues raised on appeal are, trial court erred in overruling (1) defendant's motion for directed verdict predicated on absence of sufficient corroborative evidence, (2) defendant's pretrial motion to dismiss for want of requested speedy trial. These assignments will be considered in reverse order.

I. Although Jennings initially demanded speedy indictment and trial, the sole issue asserted here goes to the matter of claimed delay in bringing the case on for hearing after filing of a county attorney's information.

In material part The Code 1966, Section 795.2, as amended by Regular Session, Sixty-Second General Assembly, Chapter 400, Section 259, here applicable, provided:

'If a defendant indicted for a public offense, whose trial has not been postponed upon his application, be not brought to trial within sixty days after the indictment is found, the court must order it to be dismissed, unless good cause to the contrary be shown.'

It inceptionally appears the above quoted statutory enactment, on which Jennings relies entirely, relates to the period of time within which a criminal prosecution shall commence after a person has been accused by indictment or information. Compare Code § 795.1 regarding speedy indictment. See Code § 773.22; State v. Abodeely, 179 N.W.2d 347, 355 (Iowa). But see United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307, 92 S.Ct. 455, 463--466, 30 L.Ed.2d 468; State v. Bowers, 162 N.W.2d 484, 487 (Iowa). See generally State v. Allnutt, 156 N.W.2d 266, 268--270 (Iowa); McCandless v. District Court, 245 Iowa 599, 603--605, 61 N.W.2d 674; ABA Standards, Speedy Trial, Approved Draft, § 2.1; Annot. 85 A.L.R.2d 980.

The record before us discloses the aforesaid speedy trial demand was first filed

Page 355

May 22, or eight days after presentment of the county attorney's information.

June 1, Jennings was arraigned and entered a not guilty plea. That same date the county attorney directed a communication to Judge McGiverin inquiring as to availability of a presiding judge for trial of the case.

September 24, defendant filed a motion to dismiss for want of speedy trial. To this the State entered written resistance which, in essence, discloses as reasons for delay in bringing the case on for hearing, (1) partial incapacitating illness of one judge in that judicial district; (2) vacation absence of a second judge; (3) on his return the vacation leave of two other judges, which resulted in only one judge actively serving; (4) existence of a pressing case backlog; (5) absence of any trial session of court subsequent to filing of the information; (6) release of defendant on bond at time of arraignment; (7) assignment for trial of the instant case to begin October 6, 1970.

Thereupon trial court...

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