State v. Johnson

Decision Date19 December 1940
Docket NumberNo. 25411.,25411.
Citation145 S.W.2d 468
PartiesSTATE v. JOHNSON et al.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Appeal from Circuit Court, St. Francois County; Taylor Smith, Judge.

"Not to be reported in State Reports."

Charlie Johnson and Evelyn Johnson, alias Evelyn Le Grand, alias Evelyn Townshend, were convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a 14-year-old child, and they appeal.

Affirmed.

W. A. Brookshire, of Farmington, for appellants.

Melvin Englehart, of Fredericktown, for respondent.

SUTTON, Commissioner.

This case originated in a justice court, in Madison County, whence it went on appeal to the circuit court. Thereafter, defendants applied for and were granted a change of venue to the Circuit Court of St. Francois County. In that court the prosecuting attorney filed an amended information, charging that on the 26th day of February, 1938, at Madison County, Missouri, the defendants, Charlie Johnson and Evelyn Johnson, alias Evelyn Le Grand, alias Evelyn Townshend, did then and there willfully and unlawfully do and perform acts causing, encouraging, and contributing to the delinquency of Anna Belle Stevens of the age of fourteen years, by soliciting, encouraging and advising said Anna Belle Stevens to associate with immoral persons.

The information is founded on section 4024, R.S.1929, Mo.St.Ann. § 4024, p. 2829, which, so far as pertinent here, reads as follows: "In all cases where any child shall be a delinquent child as defined by the statutes of this state, the parent or parents, legal guardian, or person having the custody of such child, or any other person responsible for, or by any act encouraging, causing or contributing to the delinquency of such child, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon trial and conviction thereof, shall be fined in a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

Section 14161, Mo.St.Ann. § 14161, p. 873, so far as pertinent here, reads as follows: "The words `delinquent child' shall include any child under the age of seventeen years * * * who knowingly associates with thieves, vicious or immoral persons, * * *."

The trial, with a jury, resulted in a verdict of guilty as to both defendants, the punishment of each being assessed at a fine of $250 and sixty days in jail. Judgment was entered accordingly. Defendants appeal.

Defendants ask for a reversal of the judgment on the grounds (1) that the amended information does not state facts sufficient to constitute an offense, and (2) that there is no testimony upon which to base the conviction.

As we understand section 4024, as it is written, it means that in all cases where any person shall by any act encourage, cause or contribute to the doing, on the part of a child under seventeen years of age, of any act of delinquency as defined in section 14136, Mo.St.Ann. § 14136, p. 850, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. It is not essential that the child be adjudged a delinquent. This is the construction arrived at by the Springfield Court of Appeals, in Ex parte Fisk, 228 Mo.App. 1028, 77 S.W.2d 503. It is obvious that the information in this case brings the defendants within the denunciation of the statute as thus construed.

The evidence shows that Anna Belle Stevens made her home with James Jordan and his family near Fredericktown in Madison County. She had lived with this family practically all her life. Her father resided in St. Louis. Defendants resided in Fredericktown. It was shown by the positive and undisputed testimony of a number of witnesses that defendants' reputations for morality were bad. One of these witnesses, having testified on direct examination that Charlie Johnson's reputation for morality was bad, testified on cross-examination that he had a reputation for "harboring women in and about his place." Another witness, having testified on direct examination that Charlie Johnson's reputation for morality was bad, testified on cross-examination that his reputation was bad "for most anything you could ask for."

On Saturday evening, February 26, 1938. Anna Belle Stevens went with James Jordan and his wife and Ida Gipson to Miller's dance hall on Highway 61 at or near Fredericktown. Anna Belle was fourteen years old. Defendants contacted her at the dance hall. Pursuant to pre-arrangement between Evelyn Johnson and Charlie Johnson, Evelyn took Anna Belle from the dance hall to the Womack Hotel in Fredericktown where she remained during the night. The last time Anna Belle was seen at the dance hall was between eleven and twelve o'clock. When the Jordans missed Anna Belle from the dance hall they made inquiry of both defendants as to whether they knew where Anna...

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8 cases
  • State v. Flinn, s. CC888--CC890
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • July 2, 1974
    ...Ill. 175, 52 N.E.2d 120; McDonald v. Commonwealth, 331 S.W.2d 716 (Ky.); People v. Owens, 13 Mich.App. 469, 164 N.W.2d 712; State v. Johnson, 145 S.W.2d 468 (Mo.); State v. Simants, 182 Neb. 491, 155 N.W.2d 788; State v. Montalbo, 33 N.J.Super. 462, 110 A.2d 572; State v. McKinley, 53 N.M. ......
  • State v. McKINLEY
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • February 11, 1949
    ...the same attack here made. Loveland v. State, 53 Ariz. 131, 86 P.2d 942; People v. Hemma, 94 Cal.App. 25, 270 P. 457; State v. Johnson, Mo.App., 145 S.W.2d 468; State v. Friedlander, 141 Wash. 1, 250 P. 453; Friedlander v. State, 275 U.S. 573, 48 S.Ct. 17, 72 L.Ed. 433, W.E. dismissed; Stat......
  • Mason v. Kurn
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 19, 1940
    ... ...         Appeal from St. Louis Circuit Court; William B. Flynn, Judge ...         "Not to be reported in State Reports." ...         Action by John L. Mason against James M. Kurn and another, trustees of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company, to ... ...
  • State v. Harris
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 2, 1958
    ...definition. The only enactment defining the term was Sec. 211.010, and it was that section to which Sec. 559.360 referred. State v. Johnson, Mo.App., 145 S.W.2d 468; State v. Bonnie, Mo.App., 206 S.W.2d 989; State v. Anderson, Mo.App., 232 S.W.2d 212. Unfortunately, in the course of enactin......
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