State v. Storms

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtDEEMER
Citation85 N.W. 610,113 Iowa 385
Decision Date11 April 1901
PartiesSTATE v. STORMS.

113 Iowa 385
85 N.W. 610

STATE
v.
STORMS.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

April 11, 1901.


Appeal from district court, Louisa county; W. S. Withrow, Judge.

Defendant was indicted, tried, and convicted of the crime of murder. The jury fixed his punishment at imprisonment for life, and from the verdict and judgment defendant appeals. Affirmed.

[85 N.W. 610]

Babb & Babb and Palmer & Kopp, for appellant.

C. W. Mullan, Atty. Gen., and Chas. A. Van Vleck, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.


DEEMER, J.

The conviction was secured largely on alleged confessions made by the defendant to the chief of police of the city of Burlington, at which place the crime was committed, and to the county attorney of Des Moines county. It is strenuously insisted that the court erred in admitting these confessions in evidence, for that the same were not free and voluntary, but were extracted by coercion, torture, threats, and promises. The facts relied upon to establish the voluntary character of the confession are, in substance, as follows: The crime is said to have been committed on Sunday evening, January 23, 1898. Defendant was at that time 28 years of age, and had had considerable business and other experience. He was arrested Saturday, January 29th, at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and taken to the police station. There he was placed in a cell about 6x8 feet, which was devoid of furniture, and had nothing for a bed except two boards nailed together and supported at either end by cleats. Here he was kept until after the alleged confession was made, some time about half past 4 o'clock the following Monday morning. About 10 o'clock Saturday evening he was taken to the office of the chief of police, and there examined by the mayor and other officers of the city regarding his whereabouts on the Sunday and Monday previous. The chief of police was absent from the city, and did not return until about 11:30 on Saturday evening. On his return, he went immediately to his office, where defendant and others were. He (the chief) soon learned that defendant and some five others were arrested for the crime, and was told regarding the examination of the defendant by the mayor and others. During the night, Greiner, the chief of police, had all the suspects before him from time to time, and he examined and cross–examined the defendant regarding his whereabouts before, at the time of, and after the crime is said to have been committed. At this first or second examination defendant was thoroughly searched, and his undershirt was taken from him and kept for use as evidence. A pocketknife was also taken from him, as we understand it, but this was not done until he made his confession. Sunday forenoon the defendant was again brought into the presence of the chief of police, and again catechised regarding his whereabouts at different times at and about the time the crime was said to have been committed. As we understand it, he was brought before the chief of police twice Sunday morning, and about the same questions asked each time. Defendant was slow about answering, sometimes delaying for more than 15 minutes. Sunday afternoon defendant was again brought before the chief of police, and, after

[85 N.W. 611]

going through much the same process, the chief, about 4:30 o'clock in the evening, took the defendant to the morgue where the dead bodies of the victims of the murder were lying. He was handcuffed when he left the office, and so remained until he was returned to the jail. With the chief of police and defendant were two of the city aldermen. The morgue was about three blocks from the jail, and the bodies of the murdered women were lying in the second story of the building, which was used as a morgue. Defendant was taken past the bodies that were lying close to him, and no doubt all present closely scrutinized his manner and demeanor at the time. After the return from the morgue defendant was again taken to the chief's office, and kept there until about dark, when he was returned to his cell. As he was being conducted to his cell, he asked the chief to step one side, and said he wanted to talk with him. He (the chief) responded that he had been talking with him “a whole lot,” “and you are contradicting yourself, and if you will talk to me right I will talk to you.” About 11 o'clock Sunday evening defendant was again taken before the chief of police, and remained in his room until 4:30 or 5 o'clock Monday morning. Shortly after coming before the chief the last time he asked him (the chief) why it would not be just as well to plead guilty or “say he was guilty.” The chief said: “No; that he wanted to know if any one else was implicated in the crime.” Very much talk was indulged in from that time until the confession is said to have been made, very little of which is material, save that defendant asked to see an attorney, and said that if the attorney advised him to tell about the crime he would do it. The chief said the attorney would be there Monday morning to see him. The attorney had been there on Sunday, as we understand it, but was not allowed to have any private conversation with him (the defendant). He did tell the defendant, however, that he (the attorney) had been employed to look after his (defendant's) interests. During the Sunday night interview the chief showed the defendant some old revolvers and other relics that he had in his office. Shortly after making the remark regarding his attorneys, defendant grew sullen, and refused to talk. The chief thereupon got up to go out of the room, and defendant called him back. In a short time the defendant made a confession regarding his connection with the affair, and gave all the details thereof. The chief cross–examined him while the confession was being made, and at its conclusion sent for Mr. Clark, the county attorney. The county attorney came as soon as he could after being called, and when he came the defendant was informed that he was the county attorney, and for him to make his statement, that it might be taken in writing. Defendant gave an account of his whereabouts on the Sunday the crime is said to have been committed, but did not fully state all the matters he had related to the chief of police, and Mr. Clark arose, put on his overcoat, and started to leave, when defendant said, “Hold on; I will tell you all about it.” Shortly thereafter he made a full confession to Clark, which was taken down in writing, sworn to by defendant, and witnessed by two witnesses. It is this confession, as well as the oral one made to the chief of police, that is claimed to have been involuntarily made. The written confession was read over to defendant at least twice, and Clark asked him several times before he made it if it was his free and voluntary act, and if any promises or inducements were held out to him to induce him to make it; to which he responded there were no inducements, and that it was his free and voluntary act. Something was said about defendant's attorney, and he was informed...

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36 practice notes
  • State v. Johnson, No. 47455.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 16, 1949
    ...of any kind’. That this is a correct statement of the Iowa rule, see [39 N.W.2d 125]State v. Fidment, 35 Iowa 541;State v. Storms, 113 Iowa 385, 85 N.W. 610,86 Am.St.Rep. 380;State v. Thomas, 193 Iowa 1004, 188 N.W. 689;State v. Hofer, 238 Iowa 820, 28 N.W.2d 475;State v. Webb, Iowa, 31 N.W......
  • State v. Hofer, No. 46993.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • July 29, 1947
    ...State v. Kelso, 198 Iowa 1046, 200 N.W. 695, and cases cited; State v. Westcott, 130 Iowa 1, 6, 104 N.W. 341;State v. Storms, 113 Iowa 385, 391, 85 N.W. 610,86 Am.St.Rep. 380;Wilson v. United States, 162 U.S. 613, 623, 16 S.Ct. 895, 40 L.Ed. 1090, 1096; 20 Am.Jur. 431, section 498; 22 C.J.S......
  • State v. Crank, 6567
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • October 23, 1943
    ...930); Arkansas ( Davis v. State, 182 Ark. 123, 30 S.W.2d 830); California (Black case, supra); Dist. of Columbia; Iowa ( State v. Storms, 113 Iowa 385, 85 N.W. 610, 86 Am. St. Rep. 380); Massachusetts (case supra); New Mexico ( State v. Vaisa, 28 N.M. 414, 213 P. 1038); New York ( People v.......
  • State v. Dixson, No. 6162.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • October 13, 1927
    ...110;Roszozyniala v. State, 125 Wis. 414, 104 N. W. 113;Pearsall v. Com., 92 S. W. 589, 29 Ky. Law Rep. 222;State v. Storms, 113 Iowa, 385, 85 N. W. 610, 86 Am. St. Rep. 380;State v. Nagle, 25 R. I. 105, 54 A. 1063, 105 Am. St. Rep. 864;People v. Heivner, 13 Cal. App. 768, 114 P. 411;People ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
36 cases
  • State v. Johnson, No. 47455.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 16, 1949
    ...of any kind’. That this is a correct statement of the Iowa rule, see [39 N.W.2d 125]State v. Fidment, 35 Iowa 541;State v. Storms, 113 Iowa 385, 85 N.W. 610,86 Am.St.Rep. 380;State v. Thomas, 193 Iowa 1004, 188 N.W. 689;State v. Hofer, 238 Iowa 820, 28 N.W.2d 475;State v. Webb, Iowa, 31 N.W......
  • State v. Hofer, No. 46993.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • July 29, 1947
    ...State v. Kelso, 198 Iowa 1046, 200 N.W. 695, and cases cited; State v. Westcott, 130 Iowa 1, 6, 104 N.W. 341;State v. Storms, 113 Iowa 385, 391, 85 N.W. 610,86 Am.St.Rep. 380;Wilson v. United States, 162 U.S. 613, 623, 16 S.Ct. 895, 40 L.Ed. 1090, 1096; 20 Am.Jur. 431, section 498; 22 C.J.S......
  • State v. Crank, 6567
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • October 23, 1943
    ...930); Arkansas ( Davis v. State, 182 Ark. 123, 30 S.W.2d 830); California (Black case, supra); Dist. of Columbia; Iowa ( State v. Storms, 113 Iowa 385, 85 N.W. 610, 86 Am. St. Rep. 380); Massachusetts (case supra); New Mexico ( State v. Vaisa, 28 N.M. 414, 213 P. 1038); New York ( People v.......
  • State v. Dixson, No. 6162.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • October 13, 1927
    ...110;Roszozyniala v. State, 125 Wis. 414, 104 N. W. 113;Pearsall v. Com., 92 S. W. 589, 29 Ky. Law Rep. 222;State v. Storms, 113 Iowa, 385, 85 N. W. 610, 86 Am. St. Rep. 380;State v. Nagle, 25 R. I. 105, 54 A. 1063, 105 Am. St. Rep. 864;People v. Heivner, 13 Cal. App. 768, 114 P. 411;People ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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