State v. Schmidt

Decision Date19 January 1897
Citation136 Mo. 644,38 S.W. 719
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from circuit court, St. Louis county; Rudolph Hirzel, Judge.

Peter Schmidt, alias Cotton Smith, was convicted of murder, and appeals. Affirmed.

Martin & Bass, for appellant. R.F. Walker, Atty. Gen., and Morton Jourdan, for the State.


At the January term, 1896, of the circuit court of St. Louis county, John Schmidt, Peter Schmidt, and Samuel Foster, three negroes, were indicted for the murder of Bertram Atwater in the village of Webster Groves, in St. Louis county, on the night of the 23d of January, 1896. Upon motion a severance was granted to each, and they were each duly arraigned. The defendant Peter Schmidt, or Cotton Smith, as he is often called in the record, entered his plea of not guilty, and the cause was set down for March 9, 1896. At that time a jury was impaneled, the evidence heard, and a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree rendered. Motions for new trial and in arrest were promptly filed, heard, and overruled, and the defendant sentenced to be hung on the 19th day of June, 1896. From that sentence this appeal has been prosecuted. The evidence discloses a clear case of murder, in an attempt to rob the deceased, Atwater. Mr. Atwater was a sketch artist, and had his studio in Chicago. On the night of January 23, 1896, he came to Webster Groves, a village some 12 miles west of St. Louis, on the Missouri Pacific Railway, to visit his friend, Mr. Orton, who resided in the village, and about a half mile from the station. The train on which he came arrived at 8:08 o'clock in the evening. He alighted with his grip, and some instruments he used in sketching, and went at once to a barber shop near by. At the barber shop he engaged the defendant to carry his grip for him. Defendant asked the barber how long it would take to shave Mr. Atwater, and was told, "About ten minutes." Defendant left the shop for the avowed purpose of getting his gloves, but he went immediately to a saloon near by, and called out John Schmidt, and asked him if he didn't want to do a job that night, and, being asked by John who the intended victim was, said he was from Chicago, and said he had "a lot of money on him." These two then called the other defendant, Sam Foster, out, and asked him to go; and he consented, if he could get a gun, which John offered to furnish, and did procure for him. It was then agreed that John Schmidt and Foster should go ahead, to a place agreed upon, and that, when they cried "Hands up!" Cotton, this defendant, should drop the gripsack and fall down. The two then repaired to the place selected for the robbery, and this defendant returned to the barber shop; and, when Mr. Atwater had received his shave and arranged his toilet somewhat, they started together. In his admissions to several witnesses, he states that Mr. Atwater inquired whether there were any robberies being committed in this neighborhood, and says he told him a great many, and that they were likely to meet some robbers that night; that thereupon Mr. Atwater shifted his revolver to his right-hand coat pocket, and said he was prepared for them. They soon met Foster and John Schmidt, and John Schmidt thrust his pistol into Atwater's face, and ordered him to throw up his hands; but Atwater immediately drew and fired at John, wounding him quite severely, and John and Foster both fired, one of the balls striking Atwater...

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8 cases
  • The State v. McGinnis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • November 12, 1900
    ... ... wilful, deliberate and premeditated killing by shooting, and ... nowhere alleged that it was done in an attempt to perpetrate ... a robbery. The ... [59 S.W. 88] ... instruction was entirely correct as we have repeatedly ruled ... [ State v. Schmidt, 136 Mo. loc. cit. 644, 38 S.W ... 719; State v. Foster, 136 Mo. loc. cit. 653, 38 S.W ... 721; State v. Hopkirk, 84 Mo. 278; State v ... Meyers, 99 Mo. 107, 12 S.W. 516; State v ... Donnelly, 130 Mo. 642, 32 S.W. 1124.] ...           VI ... The seventh instruction is ... ...
  • State v. McGinnis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • November 12, 1900
    ...that it was done in an attempt to perpetrate a robbery. The instruction was entirely correct, as we have repeatedly ruled. State v. Schmidt, 136 Mo. 651, 38 S. W. 719; Same v. Foster, 136 Mo. 655, 38 S. W. 721; Same v. Hopkirk, 84 Mo. 278; Same v. Meyers, 99 Mo. 107, 12 S. W. 516; Same v. D......
  • State v. Foster
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 19, 1897 any further, as they will be found fully stated in an opinion by Gantt, P. J., delivered at the present term, in the case of State v. Schmidt, 38 S. W. 719. The indictment charges that the murder was committed in the attempt to rob Atwater, but such statement was wholly unnecessary, as......
  • State v. Mangana
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court
    • December 2, 1910
    ... ... committed in the perpetration of a robbery was properly ... admissible; and that when two or more persons associate ... together to rob another, and he is killed by one of them, the ... act is that of each and all of the conspirators, and all are ... chargeable therewith. State v. Schmidt, 136 Mo. 652, ... 38 S.W. 719 ...          It is ... claimed that some of the instructions given by the court were ... erroneous, and more particularly the following: "The ... jury are instructed that in this case evidence of flight has ... been introduced. You are instructed that ... ...
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