State v. Stevens

Decision Date02 November 1929
Docket Number5416
PartiesSTATE, Respondent, v. SAM STEVENS, alias A. B. MEYER, Appellant
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

FALSE PRETENSES-SUFFICIENCY OF INFORMATION-EVIDENCE-PROOF-STATEMENTS OF ACCUSED AFTER ARREST-CORROBORATION-VENUE-INSTRUCTIONS TO ACQUIT.

1. Information charging that, in consideration of defendant furnishing employment to one K., said K. was induced to pay to defendant the sum of $200, and after stating particulars of other false statements, alleging that said K., then and there believing said false and fraudulent pretenses to be true, and being deceived thereby, was induced by reason of such false pretenses and representations to pay to defendant the sum of $200, held to state public offense under C. S., sec. 8474.

2. In prosecution for obtaining money by false pretenses, evidence held sufficient to sustain conviction, in violation of C. S sec. 8474, as against contention that representations proved were not of an existing fact or past event.

3. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses by defendant's representation that he would get one K. a job for his trucks if K. would pay $200, letter from defendant as fortune-teller, to K., advising him not to sell his trucks, and assuring him that everything would come out all right, held admissible where K. had gone to defendant for consultation in his capacity as fortune-teller or clairvoyant.

4. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses circumstances connected with transaction as well as entire conduct of defendant, including his declarations to third persons, are proper matters for consideration by jury, and may be looked to to furnish necessary corroborative evidence required by C. S., sec. 8956.

5. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses newspaper advertisement which was means of bringing parties together, and readings by defendant as fortune-teller mailed to prosecuting witness and another in identical language, held admissible.

6. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, admitting testimony of prosecuting witness regarding conversation had with defendant occurring after false pretenses were made regarding defendant's staying at home of certain woman overnight when his satchel containing papers was stolen held not error.

7. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, testimony of mining prospector as to his knowledge of mining activities in vicinity of C. held admissible on issue of falsity of material representation of fact to effect that mine was being opened up around C., and that defendant would get prosecuting witness a job at mine.

8. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, where defendant had represented to prosecuting witness that he was representing Henry Ford, testimony of witnesses having charge of all records pertaining to Ford employees in that section of the country that neither A. B. M. nor S. S., under which names defendant went, was employed by Ford interests or by Henry Ford, held admissible.

9. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, it is not necessary that proof showing falsity of pretenses should be direct, but it is sufficient if evidence establish such facts as tend legitimately to show its falsity.

10. Generally, statements made by one accused of crime after his arrest, if voluntarily made, and if they reasonably tend to prove his guilt, are admissible against him.

11. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, prosecuting witness' testimony of material false representations held sufficiently corroborated under C. S., sec. 8956, so that evidence of conversations had with defendant by officers and others after his arrest was admissible.

12. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, evidence regarding deputy sheriff's conversations with defendant as to his financial worth, etc., after arrest, held admissible.

13. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, in violation of C. S., sec. 8474, defendant's guilt held for jury.

14. Refusal to give instruction advising jury to acquit, under C. S., sec. 8963, is not reversible error, and is not reviewable in appellate court.

15. Where conversations were had by prosecuting witness with defendant in B. county, where checks were delivered to defendant, but money was actually paid over on checks in P. county, crime of obtaining money under false pretenses originated in B. county, and was completed in P. county, and venue was in either B. or P. counties under C. S., sec. 8688.

16. In prosecution for obtaining money under false pretenses, where information alleged payment of $200 by prosecuting witness to defendant, proof of delivery of two checks for that amount, which were afterwards cashed by defendant, held not to show variance from allegations of information.

17. Refusal of requested instruction covered by instructions given held not error.

18. Where information charging obtaining of money under false pretenses, in violation of C. S., sec. 8474, stated several false pretenses relating to present or past fact, conviction might be had on proof of only one of such pretenses, provided it was material in inducing prosecuting witness to part with his money.

19. Where evidence was direct and corroborated, refusal of instruction to effect that, if facts were as consistent with innocence as with guilt of defendants, jury should acquit, held not error.

APPEAL from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, for Bannock County. Hon. Robert M. Terrell, Judge.

Appeal from judgment of conviction of obtaining money under false pretenses. Affirmed.

Judgment affirmed. Petition for rehearing denied.

W. H. Holden and T. C. Coffin, for Appellant.

"The essence of the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses lies in obtaining the money with intent to defraud. A false pretense has been defined to be a fraudulent representation of an existing or past fact by one who knows it not to be true, adapted to induce the person to whom it is made to part with something of value." (State v. Whitney, 43 Idaho 745, 254 P. 252.)

The Idaho supreme court in State v. Whitney, supra, in defining the essence of the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses, followed the doctrine laid down in practically all of the decisions on the subject, in support of which we cite the following authorities: Biddle v. United States, 156 F. 759, 84 C. C. A. 415; People v. Green, 22 Cal.App. 45, 133 P. 334; State v. Asher, 50 Ark. 427, 8 S.W. 177; State v. Antoine, 155 La. 120, 98 So. 861; State v. King, 67 N.H. 219, 34 A. 461; 11 R. C. L. 831; Sawyer v. Prickett, 86 U.S. 146, 22 L.Ed. 105.

It is not a false pretense within the meaning of our statute for a defendant to make a promise to do something in the future at a time when he has a concealed intent not to keep the promise. (Farris v. Strong, 24 Colo. 107, 48 P. 963.)

It is essential to the validity of an information that the pretense be false as a fact. If it is not false, even though the person making it believes it to be false, the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses is not made out. (State v. Asher, supra.)

To make a false pretense the subject of an indictment or of an action, two things are generally necessary, namely: That it should be a statement likely to impose upon one exercising common prudence and caution, and that it should be the statement of an existing fact. (State v. Magee, 11 Ind. 154; Sawyer v. Prickett, supra.)

W. D. Gillis, Attorney General, and Fred J. Babcock, Assistant Attorney General, for Respondent.

If a statement is made as an existing fact when the accused knows it to be false and intends it to be an inducement to the other party and it is so understood and relied upon by the other party, then it becomes a false representation of a material fact for which the party making the representation is indictable. (Williams v. State, 77 Ohio St. 468, 83 N.E. 802, 14 L. R. A., N. S., 1197; State v. Bingham, 51 Wash. 616, 99 P. 735; Urban v. Tyszka, 17 Pa. Dist. 625.)

In this class of cases the circumstances connected with the transaction, the entire conduct of the appellant and his declarations to other persons are proper matters for the consideration of the jury and may be looked to to furnish the corroborating evidence contemplated by law. (52 A. L. R. 1168; People v. Mace, 71 Cal.App. 10, 234 P. 841; People v. Wymer, 53 Cal.App. 204, 199 P. 815; People v. Haskins, 49 Cal.App. 640, 194 P. 43; People v. Ballard, 75 Cal.App. 29, 241 P. 596.)

On a prosecution for obtaining money by false pretenses, declarations and admissions made by the defendant, relating to the transaction charged, are admissible against him for the purpose of proving his guilt. (11 R. C. L. 866; 1 R. C. L. 587; 16 C. J. 629; Bines v. State, 118 Ga. 320, 45 S.E. 376, 68 L. R. A. 33.)

Independent proof of the corpus delicti to corroborate a confession need not be clear, positive and direct, circumstantial proof being all that is required. (Willard v. State, 27 Tex. App. 386, 11 Am. St. 197, 11 S.W. 453; Blackburn v. State, 23 Ohio St. 146; State v. Jacobs, 21 R. I. 259, 43 A. 31; Bines v. State, supra; Commonwealth v. Killion, 194 Mass. 153, 10 Ann. Cas. 911, 80 N.E. 222.)

VARIAN, J. Budge, C. J., Givens, T. Bailey Lee and Wm. E. Lee, JJ., concur.

OPINION

VARIAN, J.

Sam Stevens and Anna L. Stevens, his wife, were jointly informed against for the crime of obtaining money under false pretenses, under C. S., sec. 8474. After trial, the jury returned a verdict finding defendant Sam Stevens guilty as charged, and acquitting Anna L. Stevens. Motion for a new trial was denied, and Sam Stevens appeals from the judgment of conviction.

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26 cases
  • State v. Owen
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 27 Enero 1953
    ...instructions given adequately cover the requests insofar as they have merit and hence there was no error in the refusal. State v. Stevens, 48 Idaho 335, 282 P. 93; State v. Farnsworth, 51 Idaho 768, 10 P.2d 295; State v. Fox, 52 Idaho 474, 16 P.2d 663; State v. Monteith, 53 Idaho 30, 20 P.2......
  • State v. McClurg, 5622
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 25 Junio 1931
    ...to acquit, and such order is not reviewable on appeal. (State v. Sullivan, 34 Idaho 68, 199 P. 647, 17 A. L. R. 902; State v. Stevens, 48 Idaho 335, 282 P. 93; v. Shelton, 46 Idaho 423, 267 P. 950; State v. Smith, 46 Idaho 8, 265 P. 666; State v. Mason, 41 Idaho 506, 239 P. 733; State v. Br......
  • State v. Richardson
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 2 Noviembre 1935
    ... ... of error numbered 3, predicated upon the refusal of the court ... to advise the jury to acquit, is not reviewable. (State ... v. Cacavas, 55 Idaho 538, 44 P.2d 1110; State v ... Emory, 55 Idaho 649, 46 P.2d 67; State v ... McClurg, 50 Idaho 762, 300 P. 898; State v ... Stevens, 48 Idaho 335, 282 P. 93.) ... The ... fourth and fifth specifications urge that the court erred in ... refusing to give defendants' requested instruction number ... 1, and in giving instruction number 5, which instructions ... both relate to evidence of good character. Instruction ... ...
  • State v. Cacavas
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 3 Mayo 1935
    ...discretionary with the trial court and no abuse thereof is shown therein. (State v. McClurg, 50 Idaho 762, 300 P. 898; State v. Stevens, 48 Idaho 335, 282 P. 93; v. Sullivan, 34 Idaho 68, 199 P. 647, 17 A. L. R. 902; State v. Shelton, 46 Idaho 423, 267 P. 950; State v. Smith, 46 Idaho 8, 26......
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