State v. Sykes, No. 49704

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtTHEODORE McMILLIAN; HOLMAN, Acting P.J., and ROGERS
Citation436 S.W.2d 32
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Respondent, v. Fred SYKES, Jr., Appellant
Docket NumberNo. 49704,No. 3
Decision Date13 January 1969

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436 S.W.2d 32
STATE of Missouri, Respondent,
v.
Fred SYKES, Jr., Appellant.
No. 49704.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Special Division No. 3.
Jan. 13, 1969.

Page 33

Norman H. Anderson, Atty. Gen., Richard L. Wieler, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, for respondent.

Robert G. Duncan, Lewis E. Pierce, Pierce, Duncan, Beitling & Shute, Kansas City, for appellant.

THEODORE McMILLIAN, Special Judge.

Appellant, hereinafter referred to as the defendant, was convicted in Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, by a jury, under Section 559.010, RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S., of murder in the first degree. In accordance with the verdict of the jury, he was sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for life. In State v. Sykes, Mo.Sup., 372 S.W.2d 24, we affirmed the conviction. A review of the record proper disclosed that defendant did not have counsel when his direct appeal was heard; thus, we have heretofore set aside our judgment of affirmance and ordered the cause to be redocketed, and that counsel be appointed. Counsel has now been appointed, the case briefed and argued, and once again is here for decision.

Although defendant's motion for a new trial sets out six assignments of error, all of which were ruled upon in State v. Sykes, supra, he has briefed and argued on this appeal only three grounds. Consequently, pursuant to our Rule 28.02, V.A.M.R. (1959), 1 we shall treat as waived or abandoned all assignments of error not presented and argued in the brief. State v. Jones, Mo.Sup., 386 S.W.2d 111.

We have reviewed and we adopt the finding of facts as set out in the original appeal in State v. Sykes, supra. We, nevertheless, feel that a re sume of the salient facts is in order. Briefly, the State's testimony showed that the deceased, Walter Chappel, age 76, on January 3, 1962, had purchased a paper and some wine from a drugstore in the City of St. Louis. As he left, he was accosted from the rear, and a struggle ensued. In the struggle, defendant, who was identified by several witnesses, struck the victim who fell to the sidewalk. Defendant then raised the deceased from the sidewalk and struck him again; this time the victim's head struck an iron post. Thereafter, the defendant removed a sum of money from the pockets of the deceased, and left him injured on the sidewalk. The deceased, who was then taken to City Hospital, remained in a semiconscious and irrational condition until January 11, 1962, when he died.

Both the chief resident of the City Hospital and the pathologist for the coroner of the City of St. Louis agreed that the cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage, which is a bleeding within the substance of the brain. A spinal tap taken on the date of the injury indicated bleeding in the victim's central nervous system. The chief

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resident physician testified that the blood vessels of the deceased were weakened by disease (sclerosis of the brain) and that a blow on the head was likely to produce the cerebral hemorrhage. The pathologist, who performed the autopsy, said 'any blow to the head might cause the blood vessels to rupture where the person struck is suffering from sclerosis of the brain, and excitement as well as sudden elevation or diminution of the blood pressure could produce a cerebral hemorrhage.'

The evidence indicated further that the deceased prior to his encounter with the defendant was conscious and going about his business; that after he had been knocked down the second time by the defendant, he became semiconscious and irrational and remained so until his death eight days later. Moreover, as we said before, on entry to the hospital, a spinal tap disclosed bleeding into the central nervous system indicative of the cerebral hemorrhage. Also, the physical examination showed a star-fashioned cut and a large bruise on the right side of the victim's head.

Defendant's claim that there was no substantial evidence to show that the deceased died from a mortal wound inflicted upon him by defendant is wholly without merit. First, in determining the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the conviction, we must consider as true the evidence favorable to the State and favorable inferences which can be reasonably drawn therefrom, and reject evidence to the contrary. State v. Davis, Mo.Sup., 365 S.W.2d 577, 578; State v. Reagan, Mo.Sup., 328 S.W.2d 26, 29(5). A mere recital of the evidence, as digested here without even going into a fuller development, as did the Court on the first appeal, indicates that there was sufficient evidence from which a jury could have reasonably found from the medical testimony that Mr. Chappel's injury and death resulted from the blows delivered by defendant. State v. Morris, Mo.App., 307 S.W.2d 667, 673(6); State v. Brinkley, 354 Mo. 1051, 193 S.W.2d 49, 54(4); and State v. Frazier, 339 Mo. 966, 98 S.W.2d 707, 712(5). This assignment is denied.

Chosely akin to the above contention pertaining to the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the charge, defendant argues that there was no substantial evidence to show that defendant, in fact, robbed the deceased. This, too, was a jury question. A jury could have...

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29 practice notes
  • State v. Johnson, No. 35416
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 4, 1976
    ...argument portion of defendant's brief are deemed abandoned or waived. State v. Heitman, 473 S.W.2d 722, 727(4) (Mo.1971); State v. Sykes, 436 S.W.2d 32, 33(1) The modern rule regarding the privilege of the state to withhold the identity of persons who furnish information to law enforcement ......
  • State v. Chester, No. 8874
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • August 8, 1969
    ...favorable inferences that may be reasonably drawn therefrom, and must reject evidence unfavorable to the verdict. State v. Sykes, Mo., 436 S.W.2d 32, 34(2); State v. Webb, Mo., 423 S.W.2d 795, 799(6). The credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be accorded to their testimony were for......
  • State v. Sager, No. KCD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 5, 1980
    ...to brief or argue any such point, such point is deemed to be waived, see State v. Heitman, 473 S.W.2d 722 (Mo.1971); State v. Sykes, 436 S.W.2d 32 (Mo.1969) and State v. Brown, 527 S.W.2d 15 (Mo.App.1975), reversed on other grounds, 549 S.W.2d 336 (Mo.banc 1977). See also Rule As a final no......
  • State v. Hill, No. 11830
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 16, 1981
    ...In re In Interest of T______ G , 455 S.W.2d 3, 10 (Mo.App.1970). Also see State v. Johnson, 475 S.W.2d 95 (Mo.1971); State v. Sykes, 436 S.W.2d 32 (Mo.1969); State v. Sykes, 372 S.W.2d 24 (Mo.1963); Holtkamp v. State, supra. The attending physician testified without objection and without eq......
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29 cases
  • State v. Johnson, No. 35416
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 4, 1976
    ...argument portion of defendant's brief are deemed abandoned or waived. State v. Heitman, 473 S.W.2d 722, 727(4) (Mo.1971); State v. Sykes, 436 S.W.2d 32, 33(1) The modern rule regarding the privilege of the state to withhold the identity of persons who furnish information to law enforcement ......
  • State v. Chester, No. 8874
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • August 8, 1969
    ...favorable inferences that may be reasonably drawn therefrom, and must reject evidence unfavorable to the verdict. State v. Sykes, Mo., 436 S.W.2d 32, 34(2); State v. Webb, Mo., 423 S.W.2d 795, 799(6). The credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be accorded to their testimony were for......
  • State v. Sager, No. KCD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 5, 1980
    ...to brief or argue any such point, such point is deemed to be waived, see State v. Heitman, 473 S.W.2d 722 (Mo.1971); State v. Sykes, 436 S.W.2d 32 (Mo.1969) and State v. Brown, 527 S.W.2d 15 (Mo.App.1975), reversed on other grounds, 549 S.W.2d 336 (Mo.banc 1977). See also Rule As a final no......
  • State v. Hill, No. 11830
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 16, 1981
    ...In re In Interest of T______ G , 455 S.W.2d 3, 10 (Mo.App.1970). Also see State v. Johnson, 475 S.W.2d 95 (Mo.1971); State v. Sykes, 436 S.W.2d 32 (Mo.1969); State v. Sykes, 372 S.W.2d 24 (Mo.1963); Holtkamp v. State, supra. The attending physician testified without objection and without eq......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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