State v. Lawson

Decision Date12 December 1887
Citation4 S.E. 134,98 N.C. 759
CourtNorth Carolina Supreme Court

Appeal from superior court, Robeson county; BOYKIN, Judge.

This was an indictment for perjury. The defendant, Alva Lawson was found guilty, and appealed.

An indictment for perjury charged that defendant had sworn falsely that he had been present, and had forbidden certain persons to trespass on his premises. Defendant asked the instruction that if the jury should conclude that defendant did not forbid the entry, but refrained from doing so because he thought such forbidding would be of no avail, then defendant would not be guilty, because the law would supply the forbidding. Held properly refused.

The Attorney General, for the State.

French & Norment, for defendant.


This was an indictment for perjury, tried before BOYKIN, J., at May term, 1886, of Robeson superior court. At the last term of this court, upon suggestion of defendant, supported by affidavits, that evidence material to the proper determination of the case was not sent up with the record, a writ ofcertiorari was issued, and in answer thereto the following case on appeal, stated by his honor by consent of the solicitor and counsel for defendant, was certified:

"At spring term, 1884, of the superior court of Robeson county an indictment then pending against J. C. Atkinson, Atlas Atkinson, R. R. Jones, and Benj. Long, for a forcible trespass, was tried. The defendant in this case was the prosecutor in that, and was duly sworn, and became a witness for the state, and during his examination as a witness testified that he was the owner of certain premises in said county; that on a certain day, while engaged at work at some distance from said premises, he received information that the said J. C. Atkinson [and the others] were proceeding to his said premises for the purpose of effecting an entry; that, in company with certain other persons, he hurried to said premises, and discovered the said Atkinson [and the others] in the road near the said premises; that they were then in the act of entering thereon, but had not actually entered; that he then and there immediately forbade them to enter thereon; that notwithstanding said forbidding, the said parties at once entered, and remained in possession. The assignment of perjury in the indictment was, in substance, 'that the said defendant therein, Alva Lawson, as such witness in said indictment for trespass, falsely and corruptly swore that he was present at the entry, and forbade the said J. C. Atkinson [and the others] to enter the said premises, whereas in truth and fact he was not then present, and did not so forbid such entry.'
"The state introduced evidence tending to show that said Lawson was not present, and did not forbid the entry. One Jones, a witness for the state, testified that he was a defendant in the trespass case. 'When the Atkinsons and I got to the house, Lawson was 50 or 75 yards off. He first forbade us, as a majority of us got into the field. Cross and I and one or two others were in the field before Lawson arrived.' One D. T. Watts, a witness for the state, testified that he was present. Went with Lawson, at his request, to the house, the place of entry. Heard him (Lawson) forbid the Atkinsons coming into the house. They were then inside the field; he (Lawson) was standing in the door. J. A. Lawson, witness for the defendant, testified that he was present. Heard Alva Lawson forbid their coming in. They came afterwards, tore down the house, and burnt it. The defendant testified, in his own behalf, that he was then and there present, in person, and did forbid such entry at the time the entry was made.

"The defendant requested the court to charge the jury 'that although the jury should conclude that the defendant did not forbid such entry in fact, and refrained from doing so because the entry was made after a race between Lawson and Atkinson [and the others] for the possession of said premises, or he (said Lawson) concluded, by reason of the...

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