State v. Sheehan

Decision Date22 March 1921
Citation196 P. 532,33 Idaho 553
PartiesSTATE, Respondent, v. J. A. SHEEHAN, alias W. T. WATSON, Appellant
CourtIdaho Supreme Court


1. C S., sec. 8091, provides: "The following persons are liable to punishment under the laws of this state: 1. All persons who commit, in whole or in part, any crime within this state." Under this section one charged with the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses who commits any portion of such crime within this state is punishable to the same extent and in the same manner as though all of the acts which constituted the crime had been committed within this state.

2. Under the facts as shown by the record in this case defendant was a party to the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses, which crime was initiated in Ada county, and under the provisions of C. S., sec. 8688, the district court for Ada county had jurisdiction of the offense.

3. Where one is informed against for the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses, proof that the defendant obtained money through the medium of a check drawn upon a bank is sufficient to sustain the allegation charging the crime.

4. In a prosecution for obtaining money by false pretenses the state need not prove that the defendant in the manner alleged obtained the exact amount of money charged in the information. The allegation as to the amount of money obtained is not descriptive of an essential ingredient of the offense.

5. It is incumbent upon one interposing the defense of alibi in a criminal case to prove the alleged fact of alibi, not beyond a reasonable doubt nor by a preponderance of the evidence but by such evidence and to such a degree of certainty as will, when the whole evidence is considered, create and leave in the minds of the jury a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused.

6. The defense of alibi in a criminal case raises a question of fact, and the verdict of a jury thereon will not be disturbed on appeal where there is substantial evidence to support the verdict.

7. Held, that the trial court in this case committed no prejudicial or reversible error in the admission of evidence or the giving or refusal to give certain instructions.

APPEAL from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, for Ada County. Hon. Carl A. Davis, Judge.

Judgment of conviction for the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses. Affirmed.


Perky & Brinck, for Appellant.

The crime of obtaining money by false pretenses is punishable only in the state where the money is actually obtained. (Bates v. State, 124 Wis. 612, 4 Ann. Cas. 365, 103 N.W. 251; State v. Smith, 162 Iowa 336, 144 N.W. 32, 49 L. R. A., N. S., 834; Commonwealth v. Van Tuyl, 1 Met. (Ky.) 1, 71 Am. Dec. 455; Connor v. State, 29 Fla. 455, 30 Am. St. 126, 10 So. 891; Graham v. People, 181 Ill. 477, 55 N.E. 179, 47 L. R. A. 731; State v. Schaeffer, 89 Mo. 271, 1 S.W. 293; People v. Adams, 3 Denio (N. Y.), 190, 45 Am. Dec. 468; 11 R. C. L. 854; 16 C. J. 190; 8 Ency. Pl. & Pr. 856; Burton v. United States, 196 U.S. 741, 25 S.Ct. 243, 49 L.Ed. 482, see, also, Rose's U.S. Notes.)

The weight of authority is that a charge of obtaining money by false pretenses is not sustained by proof of obtaining a check or other order for payment of money. (People v. Cronkrite, 266 Ill. 438, 107 N.E. 703; People v. Warfield, 261 Ill. 293, 103 N.E. 979; Lory v. People, 229 Ill. 268, 82 N.E. 261; Lieske v. State, 60 Tex. Crim. 276, 131 S.W. 1126; State v. Gibson, 169 N.C. 318, 85 S.E. 7; State v. Mispagel, 207 Mo. 557, 106 S.W. 513; Lancaster v. State, 9 Tex. App. 393; Commonwealth v. Howe, 132 Mass. 250; Goodhue v. People, 94 Ill. 37; Carr v. State, 104 Ala. 43, 16 So. 155; Bates v. State, supra; Childers v. State, 16 Tex. App. 524; State v. Casleton, 255 Mo. 201, 164 S.W. 495.)

A check is not an assignment of the fund. (C. S., sec., 6056; Kaesemyer v. Smith, 22 Idaho 1, 123, 943, 43 L. R. A., N. S., 100.)

Roy L. Black, Attorney General, and J. L. Boone, Assistant, for Respondent.

As at least some of the fraudulent acts and pretenses were made and performed in Ada county, it is clear that the offense was partly committed there, and the court had jurisdiction. (People v. Dimick, 107 N.Y. 13, 14 N.E. 178; People v. Peckens, 153 N.Y. 576, 47 N.E. 883; Skiff v. People, 2 Parker's Crim. Rep. 139; Commonwealth v. Wood, 142 Mass. 459, 8 N.E. 432; Wilcox v. Nolze, 34 Ohio St. 520.)

The prosecution may be instituted where the false pretenses were made when it is shown that the money was actually paid, even though such prosecution was in a different county from the one where the representations were made. (State v. Smith, 162 Iowa 336, 144 N.W. 32, 49 L. R. A., N. S., 834; People v. Summerfield, 96 N.Y.S. 502, 48 Misc. 242; Farless v. Morehead, 201 F. 310, 119 C. C. A. 548.)

Conspiracy being shown, the acts and declarations of any of the parties made during the continuation of the conspiracy and with regard to matters connected with it are properly admissible; the acts of any of the conspirators become the acts of all, and jurisdiction exists in any place in which any overt act took place. (State v. Soper, 118 Iowa 1, 91 N.W. 774; Pearce v. Territory, 11 Okla. 438, 68 P. 504; Wharton's Crim. Law, par. 664.)

The corpus delicti of obtaining money under false pretenses is the falsity of the representation. (Wharton on Crim. Ev., pp; 634, 642.)

Concerted action on the part of several parties to commit a crime is enough to convict either or any of such parties in any place where they did anything tending toward the completion of the offense. (Wharton's Crim. L., pars. 334, 1472, 1664; Connor v. State, 29 Fla. 455, 30 Am. St. 126, 10 So. 891; 11 R. C. L. 855, note 10; C. J. 91, note 80; People v. Jordan, 66 Cal. 10, 56 Am. Rep. 73, 4 P. 773; People v. Cadot, 138 Cal. 527, 71 P. 649.)

"In an indictment charging a person with obtaining money by false pretenses, proof that the defendant obtained the money through the medium of an order on a bank or other person, whether verbal or written, is sufficient to sustain the allegation." (Smith v. State, 74 Fla. 594, 77 So. 274; Foote v. State, 16 Ala. App. 136, 75 So. 728; Rand v. Commonwealth, 176 Ky. 343, 195 S.W. 802; State v. Holmes, 98 Kan. 74, 157 P. 412, L. R. A. 1916E, 1104; Clark v. State, 14 Ala. App. 633, 72 So. 291; State v. Cary, 128 Minn. 481, 151 N.W. 186; King v. State, 66 Tex. Crim. 397, 146 S.W. 543; Bartley v. State, 53 Neb. 310, 73 N.W. 744; People v. Leavens, 12 Cal.App. 178, 106 P. 1103; Laev v. State, 152 Wis. 33, 139 N.W. 416; State v. Gibson, 132 Iowa 53, 106 N.W. 270; People v. Hoffman, 142 Mich. 531, 105 N.W. 838.)

Where the defendant relies on the alibi, the burden of proof is upon him as to that proposition, and the defendant has not satisfied that burden of proof. (State v. Webb, 6 Idaho 429, 55 P. 892; State v. Davis, 6 Idaho 159, 53 P. 678; State v. Silva, 21 Idaho 247, 120 P. 835; State v. Ward, 31 Idaho 419, 173 P. 497.)

It is proper to show all of the acts indulged in by way of preparation for a crime and the acts whereby the crime is completed, and any further acts throwing light upon the general situation with regard to the criminal intent or the participants or the criminal acts of any or all of the participants. (State v. Ellington, 4 Idaho 529, 43 P. 60; 12 C. J. 634, note 54; Commonwealth v. Watermann, 122 Mass. 43; Jackson v. State, 28 Tex. App. 370, 19 Am. St. 839, 13 S.W. 451; State v. Alcorn, 7 Idaho 599, 79 Am. St. 252, 64 P. 1014; State v. Marren, 17 Idaho 766, 107 P. 993; State v. Corcoran, 7 Idaho 220, 61 P. 1034; State v. Hammock, 18 Idaho 424, 110 P. 169; State v. Curtis, 29 Idaho 724, 161 P. 578; 12 C. J. 640.)

Where there is a conflict in the evidence and there is evidence to sustain the verdict, immaterial errors, if any, will be disregarded and the verdict will not be disturbed. (State v. Rathbone, 8 Idaho 161, 67 P. 186; State v. Collett & Ireland, 9 Idaho 608, 75 P. 271; State v. Cook, 13 Idaho 45, 88 P. 240; State v. Downing, 23 Idaho 540, 130 P. 461; State v. Levy, 9 Idaho 483, 75 P. 227; State v. Bond, 12 Idaho 424, 86 P. 43; State v. Williams, 12 Idaho 483, 86 P. 53; State v. Mox Mox, 28 Idaho 176, 152 P. 802; State v. Ward, 31 Idaho 419, 173 P. 497; State v. Steen, 29 Idaho 337, 158 P. 499; State v. Askew, 32 Idaho 456, 184 P. 474.)

BUDGE, J. Rice, C. J., and McCarthy, Dunn and Lee, JJ., concur.



Appellant Sheehan, alias W. T. Watson, E. P. Morton, Frank Caviness, alias John Doe Dise, and F. L. King, were charged with the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses, in that they did, with intent, knowingly, designedly, wilfully, unlawfully, falsely, fraudulently and feloniously, defraud one A. L. Roberts of about $ 3,800, lawful money of the United States, representing and pretending to him that Morton had come to Boise for the purpose of purchasing stock of the Columbia & Nehalem River Railroad; that certain of said stock was owned and possessed by various individuals, including appellant Sheehan; that certain purported stock certificates which appellant had and exhibited to Roberts were true and genuine certificates and were in fact certificates representing stock in said railroad; and said Roberts wholly relying upon and believing said representations and pretenses and being deceived thereby, by reason thereof was between March 3, 1916, and March 16, 1916, induced to and did pay to the defendants the sum of about $ 3,800.

The other defendants not having been apprehended, appellant alone was tried and convicted. This appeal is from the judgment of conviction.

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9 cases
  • State v. Doyle
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • April 1, 1992
    ...same extent and in the same manner as though all of the acts which constitute the crime had been committed here." State v. Sheehan, 33 Idaho 553, 561-62, 196 P. 532, 534 (1921). See also State v. Cochran, 96 Idaho 862, 864, 538 P.2d 791, 793 (1975) ("The State having failed to prove that th......
  • State v. Stratford
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • November 10, 1934
    ...(State v. Sheehan, 33 Idaho 553, 196 P. 532; State v. Stevens, 48 Idaho 335, 282 P. 93.) Appellant tries, however, to distinguish the Sheehan case, on theory that someone other than defendant got possession of the checks and their proceeds as indicated above, relying upon People v. Cronkrit......
  • State v. Stevens
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • November 2, 1929
    ...obtained money through the medium of a check drawn upon a bank, is sufficient to sustain the allegation charging the crime." (State v. Sheehan, supra.) complains of the failure to give his proposed instruction No. 6 as to the presumption of innocence. We conclude that instruction No. 4, as ......
  • O'Brien v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • May 9, 1939
    ... ... State, ... supra; in Pollock v. State, supra; and all their several ... progeny, are, and ought to be, overruled and set at naught ... See Updike v. People, 92 Colo. 125, 18 P.2d 472; ... State v. Stevens, 48 Idaho 335, 282 P. 93; State ... v. Sheehan 33 Idaho 553, 196 P. 532; State v ... Joseph, 115 Ohio St. 127, 152 N.E. 186; and Wimer v ... State, 120 Tex.Cr.R. 576, 48 S.W.2d 296, 303 ... The ... testimony being as we have hereinabove quoted, we adopt, and ... use as our own, the language,--so industriously sought out ... ...
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