State v. Kinkade

Decision Date01 August 1950
Docket NumberNo. 47640,47640
Citation241 Iowa 1259,43 N.W.2d 736
CourtIowa Supreme Court

Daniel J. Gallery, of Winterset, for appellant.

Robert L. Larson, Attorney General of Iowa, Don Hise, First Assistant Attorney General, and Robert O. Frederick, Madison County Attorney, of Winterset, for appellee.

SMITH, Justice.

The errors assigned do not require a description of the alleged acts. Their character as coming within the ban of our statute (section 725.2, Code of 1950, I.C.A.) is unquestioned. They were testified to by the child herself, defendant's stepdaughter, aged 10, corroborated in part by her mother's brother who was an eyewitness from some distance. No serious claim is made that a directed verdict was required. The defendant testified in his own behalf denying the criminal nature of his conduct with his stepdaughter and describing what he claimed did in fact transpire. The sheriff told of admissions made to him by defendant after arrest, not materially different however from defendant's own testimony. Eight character witnesses testified in defendant's behalf.

Eighteen errors are assigned. Nearly all relate to one legal proposition, viz., the admissibility of testimony of similar conduct of defendant with said child on former occasions. The question was raised by objections to the testimony when it was offered, motion to strike is at close of all evidence, motion for new trial and objection to instructions.

The indictment alleges the date of the conduct complained of as 'on or about' June 29, 1949. The child testified to similar acts the week before; also on several other occasions, the exact number and times being unspecified.

After the court overruled defendant's motion to strike the testimony of these previous occasions he moved to require the State to elect which offense it relied on. This motion being sustained the State announced it would 'stand or rely upon the offense stated in the indictment, to wit: June 29, 1949.'

Thereupon defendant moved for a directed verdict but declined to argue it and it was overruled. No error is predicated upon this ruling.

I. Of course the general rule in criminal cases excludes evidence of other offenses. In some cases however such evidence is admissible to show the act in question was intentional, rather than accidental, and that it formed a part of a series of similar occurrences in each of which defendant participated. State v. Baugh, 200 Iowa 1225, 206 N.W. 250. The scope and limitations of the exception are stated in State v. Clay, 220 Iowa 1191, 1197, 264 N.W. 77.

In cases involving the offense charged here it is ordinarily held the intent may be inferred from the nature of the act itself and that proof of separate and distinct acts of a similar nature is unnecessary. State v. Rounds, 216 Iowa 131, 248 N.W. 500, citing State v. Marvin, 197 Iowa 443, 197 N.W. 315; State v. Weaver, 182 Iowa 921, 166 N.W. 379; People v. Hunter, 218 Mich. 525, 188 N.W. 346. We have held inadmissible testimony of other conduct of a defendant with other persons, when defendant admitted on the trial that if the act for which he was on trial was done at all it was not accidental or unintentional or inadvertent. State v. Vance, 119 Iowa 685, 94 N.W. 204.

The Rounds, Marvin and Weaver cases, supra, all involved attempts to show conduct with persons other than the one named in the indictment on trial. In the Rounds case it was held the acts sought to be shown 'were so closely related in time and circumstance' with the acts charged that the testimony was admissible. 216 Iowa at page 134, 248 N.W. at page 502. Language from State v. Robinson (a rape case), 170 Iowa 267, 276, 152 N.W. 590, 593, is quoted in the Rounds case in support of the admissibility of such testimony 'where the acts are all so closely related, in point of time and place, and so intimately associated with each other that they form one continuous transaction.' In the Marvin and Weaver cases the evidence was held inadmissible.

In State v. Derry, 202 Iowa 352, 355, 356, 299 N.W. 514, where the trial court admitted testimony of other similar acts with the same child named in the indictment, required the State (on defendant's motion) to elect on what particular act it would rely, and instructed the jury that the purpose of the testimony of other acts was to aid in determining the intent of the defendant, we upheld the instruction.

In one Iowa decision in a case of the kind before us here we squarely held similar acts with the same child could be shown. State v. Neubauer, 145 Iowa 337, 345, 346, 121 N.W. 312. In the cited case the State, on the court's order sustaining defendant's motion to that effect, elected on which transaction it would rely.

Defendant here relied strenuously on People v. Smittcamp, 70 Cal.App.2d 741, 161 P.2d 983. That decision is by an intermediate appellate court. In it defendant was charged in three counts,--in one with statutory rape and...

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12 cases
  • State v. Munz
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • September 19, 1984
    ...1979); State v. Maetas, 224 N.W.2d 248, 250 (Iowa 1974); State v. Rankin, 181 N.W.2d 169, 171 (Iowa 1970); State v. Kinkade, 241 Iowa 1259, 1261-62, 43 N.W.2d 736, 738 (1950); State v. Neubauer, 145 Iowa 337, 345-46, 124 N.W. 312, 315 (1910); Annot. 88 A.L.R.3d 12 (1978); Annot. 77 A.L.R.2d......
  • State v. Plaster
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • May 11, 1988
    ...1981); State v. Maestas, 224 N.W.2d 248, 250 (Iowa 1974); State v. Rankin, 181 N.W.2d 169, 171 (Iowa 1970); State v. Kinkade, 241 Iowa 1259, 1261-62, 43 N.W.2d 736, 738 (1950); State v. Neubauer, 145 Iowa 337, 345-46, 124 N.W. 312, 315 (1910). The rationale for admitting such evidence is th......
  • Nelson v. Iowa-Illinois Gas & Elec. Co.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • June 14, 1966 sufficient to constitute a cause of action and the other is not, a cause of action is not stated.'). See also State v. Kinkade, 241 Iowa 1259, 1263, 43 N.W.2d 736, 739. The many holdings that on a direct attack a doubtful pleading is resolved against the pleader seem, by analogy, to have......
  • State v. Simpson
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • December 13, 1951
    ...365, 218 N.W. 936 and State v. Griffin, 218 Iowa 1301, 254 N.W. 841. It is the claim of the appellant that in the case of State v. Kinkade, 241 Iowa 1259, 43 N.W.2d 736, we again adhered to the holdings announced in the Vance and Strum cases. Our statement therein made was not necessary for......
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