State v. Terry, No. 39406.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtWAGNER
Citation223 N.W. 870,207 Iowa 916
Decision Date05 March 1929
Docket NumberNo. 39406.
PartiesSTATE v. TERRY.

207 Iowa 916
223 N.W. 870

STATE
v.
TERRY.

No. 39406.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

March 5, 1929.


Appeal from District Court, Woodbury County; C. C. Hamilton, Judge.

The defendant was convicted of the crime of conspiracy. From the judgment entered, he appeals. Affirmed.

[223 N.W. 870]

George A. Gorder, of Sioux City, for appellant.

John Fletcher, Atty. Gen., and O. T. Naglestad, Co. Atty., and Weir Murphy, Asst. Co. Atty., both of Sioux City, for the State.


WAGNER, J.

The sufficiency of the amended indictment was challenged by demurrer. Said demurrer was overruled, and the action of the court, in that respect, is now assigned as error.

The indictment charges Miller, two Fosters, and the defendant, Buck Terry, with the crime of conspiracy, committed as follows: “The said L. H. ‘Happy’ Miller, H. I. Foster, Herbie Foster and Buck Terry on or about the 27th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand, nine hundred and twenty-seven in the County of Woodbury and State of Iowa, unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did conspire, agree and confederate together with the fraudulent and malicious intent and purpose wrongfully, feloniously and unlawfully to do an illegal act injurious to the public trade, health, morals and police by illegally selling, transporting and trafficking in intoxicating liquor. In pursuance and consummation of said conspiracy and in violation of Sections 1924 and 1945a1 of the Code of Iowa 1927, said defendants did do illegal acts injurious to the public trade, health, morals and police by transporting, selling and delivering to Simon Schrank certain intoxicating liquors.”

Our statutory law provides: “If any two or more persons conspire or confederate together with the fraudulent or malicious intent * * * to do any illegal act injurious to the public trade, health, morals, or police, * * * they are guilty of a conspiracy.” Section 13162, Code of 1927. The unlawful sale of intoxicating liquors is made a crime by section 1924 of the Code, and the illegal transportation of intoxicating liquors is likewise made an offense by section 1945a1 of the Code.

Is the indictment sufficient? An indictment must contain: “A statement of the facts constituting the offense in ordinary and concise language, without repetition, and in such manner as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended.” Section 13733 of the Code. The indictment must be direct and certain as regards “the particular circumstances of the offense charged, when they are necessary to constitute a complete offense.” Section 13735 of the Code. An indictment is sufficient if “the act or omission charged as the offense

[223 N.W. 871]

is stated in ordinary and concise language, with such certainty and in such manner as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended, and the court to pronounce judgment according to law upon a conviction.” Section 13743 of the Code.

We have repeatedly held that an indictment charging an offense in the language of the statute or in language equivalent thereto will be sufficient in a case where the language used so individuates the offense that the defendant has proper notice, from the terms used, of the particular crime with the commission of which he is charged. State v. Johnson, 114 Iowa, 430, 87 N. W. 279;State v. Cummings, 128 Iowa, 522, 105 N. W. 57;State v. Kendig, 133 Iowa, 164, 110 N. W. 463;State v. Henderson, 135 Iowa, 499, 113 N. W. 328;State v. Corwin, 151 Iowa, 420, 131 N. W. 659;State v. Kernan, 154 Iowa, 672, 135 N. W. 362, 40 L. R. A. (N. S.) 239. Many other authorities could be cited upon this proposition.

We have held in many cases that the gist of the offense of conspiracy is the unlawful agreement or combination, and that where the agreement is to perpetrate a crime known to the common law, or defined by statute in unmistakable terms, all that is necessary for the purpose of the indictment is to designate the offense by using the name by which it is familiarly known. State v. Madden, 170 Iowa, 230, 148 N. W. 995;State v. Rayburn, 170 Iowa, 514, 153 N. W. 59, L. R. A. 1915F. 640;State v. Clemenson, 123 Iowa, 524, 99 N. W. 139;State v. Ormiston, 66 Iowa, 143, 23 N. W. 370;State v. Grant, 86 Iowa, 216, 53 N. W. 120;State v. Soper, 118 Iowa, 1, 91 N. W. 774;State v. Jones, 13 Iowa, 269;State v. Eno, 131 Iowa, 619, 109 N. W. 119, 9 Ann. Cas. 856;State v. Stevens, 30 Iowa, 391;State v. Potter, 28 Iowa, 554;State v. Poder, 154 Iowa, 686, 135 N. W. 421;State v. Tonn, 195 Iowa, 94, 191 N. W. 530;State v. Savoye, 48 Iowa, 562. In 5 R. C. L. 1082, it is declared: “There appears to be no disagreement when the conspiracy has a criminal purpose. In such case it is not disputed that the means need not be set forth if the criminal purpose is clearly stated. The rule is the same, whether the object of the conspiracy is to commit a misdemeanor or a felony.”

In State v. Clemenson, supra, we declared: “The gist of the offense is the wicked and unlawful agreement. * * * And where this is to perpetrate a crime known to the common law, or defined by the statute in unmistakable terms, all that is necessary is to designate the offense, without describing the overt act accomplished in pursuance of the conspiracy.” In State v. Rayburn, supra, we said: “So in conspiracy cases, the crime intended to be accomplished by the conspiracy need not be described in the indictment with the accuracy or detail which would be essential in an indictment for the commission of the offense itself.” In State v. Ormiston, supra, we find the following pronouncement: “The offense of conspiracy may, it is true, be complete without the commission of the overt act which the conspirators agreed to commit. * * * It would seem to follow that, though the overt act may have been committed, it is unnecessary to charge it, unless the indictment is drawn under a statute which requires that it should be charged.” In State v. Soper, supra, we made the following pronouncement: “The offense which defendants were thus charged as having conspired to commit was fully described in the indictment in accordance with the language of the Code defining it. * * * Where the conspiracy is charged to have consisted in the agreement to do an act not in itself criminal by illegal means, then the illegal means contemplated must be described; but, where the offense consists in the conspiracy to commit a crime, the means by which such crime is to be committed need not be alleged. * * * This is entirely reasonable, for the conspiracy might be completed without the means employed having been agreed upon, as the crime of conspiracy consists, not in overt acts done for the purpose of carrying out the conspiracy, but in the unlawful combination itself with the purpose of doing the unlawful acts.”

In State v. Eno, supra, we said: “An indicment for conspiracy, must show that the object of the conspiracy was criminal, or, if the object itself be...

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9 practice notes
  • State v. Graff, No. 44218.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 13, 1938
    ...204 Iowa 670, 215 N.W. 752;State v. White, 205 Iowa 373, 217 N.W. 871;State v. Neifert, 206 Iowa 384, 220 N.W. 32;State v. Terry, 207 Iowa 916, 223 N.W. 870;State v. Dillard, 207 Iowa 831, 221 N.W. 817;State v. Briggs, 207 Iowa 221, 222 N.W. 552;State v. Murray, 222 Iowa 925, 270 N.W. 355. ......
  • State v. Schenk, No. 46268.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 3, 1945
    ...217 Iowa 872, 251 N.W. 737;State v. Lowenberg, 216 Iowa 222, 243 N.W. 538;State v. Hartman, 213 Iowa 546, 239 N.W. 107;State v. Terry, 207 Iowa 916, 223 N.W. 870;State v. Priebe, 198 Iowa 609, 199 N.W. 276;Boom v. Boom, 206 Iowa 70, 220 N.W. 17. An actual agreement to enter into a conspirac......
  • State v. Moore, No. 41607.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 12, 1933
    ...the gist of the offense is the unlawful agreement or combination. Section 13162 of the 1931 Code; State v. Terry, 207 Iowa, 916, 223 N. W. 870;State v. Poder, 154 Iowa, 686, 135 N. W. 421;State v. Paden, 199 Iowa, 383, 202 N. W. 105. So long, then, as the information charges a single conspi......
  • State v. Critelli, No. 46798.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 15, 1946
    ...is a general statement which we may [24 N.W.2d 119]disregard unless the particular error complained of is pointed out. State v. Terry, 207 Iowa 916, 223 N.W. 870;State v. Campbell, 213 Iowa 677, 239 N.W. 715. See also State v. Perkins, 208 Iowa 1394, 227 N.W. 417;State v. Bruns, 211 Iowa 82......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • State v. Graff, No. 44218.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 13, 1938
    ...204 Iowa 670, 215 N.W. 752;State v. White, 205 Iowa 373, 217 N.W. 871;State v. Neifert, 206 Iowa 384, 220 N.W. 32;State v. Terry, 207 Iowa 916, 223 N.W. 870;State v. Dillard, 207 Iowa 831, 221 N.W. 817;State v. Briggs, 207 Iowa 221, 222 N.W. 552;State v. Murray, 222 Iowa 925, 270 N.W. 355. ......
  • State v. Schenk, No. 46268.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 3, 1945
    ...217 Iowa 872, 251 N.W. 737;State v. Lowenberg, 216 Iowa 222, 243 N.W. 538;State v. Hartman, 213 Iowa 546, 239 N.W. 107;State v. Terry, 207 Iowa 916, 223 N.W. 870;State v. Priebe, 198 Iowa 609, 199 N.W. 276;Boom v. Boom, 206 Iowa 70, 220 N.W. 17. An actual agreement to enter into a conspirac......
  • State v. Moore, No. 41607.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 12, 1933
    ...the gist of the offense is the unlawful agreement or combination. Section 13162 of the 1931 Code; State v. Terry, 207 Iowa, 916, 223 N. W. 870;State v. Poder, 154 Iowa, 686, 135 N. W. 421;State v. Paden, 199 Iowa, 383, 202 N. W. 105. So long, then, as the information charges a single conspi......
  • State v. Critelli, No. 46798.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 15, 1946
    ...is a general statement which we may [24 N.W.2d 119]disregard unless the particular error complained of is pointed out. State v. Terry, 207 Iowa 916, 223 N.W. 870;State v. Campbell, 213 Iowa 677, 239 N.W. 715. See also State v. Perkins, 208 Iowa 1394, 227 N.W. 417;State v. Bruns, 211 Iowa 82......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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