State v. Youngbear, No. 57566

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtHeard by MOORE; REES
Citation229 N.W.2d 728
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Ellsworth YOUNGBEAR, Appellant.
Decision Date21 May 1975
Docket NumberNo. 57566

Page 728

229 N.W.2d 728
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Ellsworth YOUNGBEAR, Appellant.
No. 57566.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
May 21, 1975.

Page 730

Robert N. Clinton and Barry A. Lindahl, Iowa City, for appellant.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., Thomas J. Mann, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Des Moines and Jared O. Bauch, County Atty., Traer, for appellee.

Heard by MOORE, C.J., and LeGRAND, REES, REYNOLDSON and HARRIS, JJ.

REES, Justice.

Defendant was charged by county attorney's information with the crime of murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, was tried to a jury, convicted and sentenced. He now appeals. We affirm.

The charge against defendant arose out of a shooting which occurred at the home of Clyde Papakee on the Tama Indian Settlement during the early morning hours of February 22, 1974. During the late evening hours of February 21, defendant had been drinking beer with a companion at two taverns in Tama. After the taverns closed defendant and his companion went to the Indian pow-wow grounds where they met a number of other individuals. The drinking continued at that location until the party moved on the Papakee residence about 2:30 or 3 A.M.

At the Papakee residence defendant became involved in an argument with Vincent Lasley, the victim, and his brother Gordon Lasley. Initially, the argument apparently involved only defendant and Gordon Lasley and that argument subsided when Gaylord

Page 731

Bear, a guest in the Papakee home, intervened. Shortly thereafter, defendant left the Papakee home.

According to Bear's testimony, defendant returned approximately 30 minutes later, carrying an object wedged beneath his belt and concealed under his shirt. At defendant's request, Bear felt the object (a gun) and defendant then laughed and told Bear he was 'going to fix somebody'. An altercation ensued in the Papakee's dining room between defendant and Gordon Lasley, but Bear took Gordon Lasley out of the house and away from the defendant.

Several minutes later Bear observed defendant threatening Vincent Lasley by pointing a pistol at his throat. Vincent then was quoted as saying, 'You can't shoot me, I'm your buddy. Pull the trigger. You can't kill me.' Defendant thereupon pulled the trigger, fatally shooting Vincent Lasley through the neck. Clyde Papakee, who had been abed, then came into the living room, took the weapon away from the defendant and placed him upon a chair where he remained until Officer Wanatee and Deputy Sheriff McBride arrived at approximately 6 A.M. McBride took defendant into custody but did not at that time advise him of his constitutional rights.

A true information charging defendant with murder was filed on February 25, 1974. Following the entry of defendant's plea, trial was set for May 13. Notice of additional testimony was served on defendant on May 3, and on May 8 defendant's counsel moved for a continuance, asserting he had not had sufficient time to prepare a defense particularly in view of the filing of the notice of additional testimony. The motion for continuance was overruled.

Several pretrial motions were filed by defendant, including a motion to suppress alleging statements by defendant to Deputy McBride were made before defendant had been properly advised of his right to remain silent, and an application for psychological and psychiatric examination alleging defendant had been in a coma for a month and a half in 1970 following an automobile accident. Ruling on the motions was deferred by the court until trial. Trial commenced on May 13, 1974 and on May 14 trial court overruled the motion to suppress the three incriminating statements volunteered by defendant, and also overruled the motion for psychiatric examination, noting defendant had already been examined by the psychiatric staff at Iowa City and the report of the examination did not indicate a need for further evaluation. In its ruling the court indicated defendant could obtain other psychiatric evaluation but that the trial would not be delayed pending the outcome thereof. Following the disposition of plaintiff's pretrial motions, the trial proceeded to conclusion. The jury subsequently returned a verdict finding defendant guilty of second degree murder.

The following issues are presented for review in this appeal:

a) Whether trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction in this case over the crime of murder committed by an Indian upon another Indian in 'Indian Country'.

b) Whether the State failed to prove venue when it presented no evidence the crime occurred in the county of Tama, Iowa.

c) Whether the trial court's refusal to grant defendant's motion for a continuance after defense counsel advised the court he was not prepared was an abuse of discretion or denied defendant his constitutional rights to effective assistance of counsel and a fair trial.

d) Whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant's application for psychological and psychiatric examination and in failing either to conduct any inquiry into defendant's competency to stand trial or to conduct a presentence psychiatric review.

e) Whether three incriminating statements made by the defendant while intoxicated were voluntary.

f) Whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence an admission secured after the defendant told the investigating officers

Page 732

that he did not wish to make a statement.

I. With regard to the first issue presented for review, the State argues defendant waived the right to challenge the subject-matter jurisdiction of the trial court because he failed to declare his Indian status and that of his victim at trial.

We are not persuaded by the State's argument defendant's failure to declare his Indian status and that of his victim at trial would preclude review of the subject-matter jurisdiction of the court and incline to the view the issue achieves reviewable dimensions from persuasive inferences as to defendant's Indian status and that of his victim. We are therefore squarely presented with the question whether trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction over this case involving the murder of one Indian by another Indian on the Tama Indian Settlement. Resolution of that question requires an inquiry into several statutes which define criminal jurisdiction over crimes committed by Indians in 'Indian County'.

II. We have been favored with lengthy briefs directed to the issue of trial court's subject-matter jurisdiction in this case. The briefs are in large part directed to the history of the Sac and Fox Indians and the interplay of federal and state law defining criminal jurisdiction over them. While much of the information contained in the briefs provides valuable background on the question whether trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction over the instant case, we conclude the answer to that question must ultimately turn on the construction given an Act passed by Congress in 1948 conferring jurisdiction on the State of Iowa over offenses committed by or against Indians on the Sac and Fox Indian Reservation.

In arguing trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction in this case, defendant relies in the main on 18 U.S.C.A. § 1153, which is referred to generally as the Federal Major Crimes Act. That statute provides:

'Any Indian who commits against the person or property of another Indian or other person any of the following offenses, namely, murder . . . within the Indian country, shall be subject to the same laws and penalties as all other persons committing any of the above offenses, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.'

Section 1153 of 18 U.S.C.A. has been construed to vest exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes specified in the statute in the courts of the United States. United States v. Kagama, 118 U.S. 375, 6 S.Ct. 1109, 30 L.Ed. 228. 'Indian Country' within the meaning of the term used in 18 U.S.C.A. § 1153 is defined in 18 U.S.C.A. § 1151. The application of the 'Indian Country' definition does not depend upon the manner in which the land in question was acquired, but rather on whether such land has been, as was the Tama Indian Settlement in this case, set apart for the use and occupancy of Indians. See United States v. McGowan, 302 U.S. 535, 58 S.Ct. 286, 82 L.Ed. 410. We conclude the Tama Indian Settlement meets the statutory definition of 'Indian Country' as construed by the courts.

While the State advances several arguments for the proposition the trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction over this case, the only argument presented warranting consideration here is based on a statute enacted by Congress in 1948. That statute, chapter 759, 62 Stat. 1161 (80th Cong., 2d

'Ch. 759. AN ACT . . . That

'Ch. 759. AN ACT . . . That jurisdiction is hereby conferred on the State of Iowa over offenses committed by or against Indians on the Sac and Fox Indian Reservation in the State to the same extent as its courts have jurisdiction generally over offenses committed within said State outside of any Indian reservation: Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall deprive the courts of the United States of jurisdiction over offenses defined by the laws of the United States committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations.'

Page 733

Statutory provisions nearly identical to chapter 759 grant criminal jurisdiction to Kansas and North Dakota. See 18 U.S.C.A. § 3243 and Public Law 394, enacted May 31, 1946, 60 Stat. 229. See also State v. Lohnes, 69 N.W.2d 508 (N.D.1955).

The ultimate issue presented here is whether the Act last cited conferred on the State of Iowa jurisdiction over All crimes committed by Indians on the Tama Indian Settlement. Defendant argues the Act merely conferred on the State jurisdiction over crimes not specified in 18 U.S.C.A. § 1153, reserving to the courts of the United States jurisdiction exclusive of the states over the crimes there specified. Conversely, the State argues chapter 759 conferred on the states exclusive...

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22 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Papakee, No. 06-CR-162-LRR.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Iowa
    • May 2, 2007
    ...country." A full understanding the importance of this decision requires some discussion of two prior Page 1043 cases: State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728 (Iowa 1975) ("Youngbear I") and Youngbear v. Brewer, 415 F.Supp. 807 (N.D.Iowa 1976) (McManus, C.J.) ("Youngbear a. Youngbear I In 1974, a......
  • Youngbear v. Brewer, No. C 75-62.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • June 25, 1976
    ...affirmed the conviction, specifically rejecting inter alia the contention of lack of subject matter jurisdiction. State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728 (Iowa 1975). A petition for writ of certiorari was sought and denied. Exhaustion of all available state remedies appears to have been complete......
  • State v. Jacoby, No. 59756
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 21, 1977
    ...be more nearly obtained. * * *" The grant or refusal of a continuance lies within trial court's sound discretion. State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728, 734 (Iowa 1975), cert. den., 423 U.S. 1018, 96 S.Ct. 455, 46 L.Ed.2d 390 (1975). On review we will not interfere unless there has been a clea......
  • Sac and Fox Tribe of Mississippi in Iowa v. Licklider, Nos. 77-1534
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 7, 1978
    ...to be "Indian Country" in light of its finding that this land was set apart for the use and occupancy of Indians. State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728, 732 (Iowa), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1018, 96 S.Ct. 455, 46 L.Ed.2d 3090 (1975). As discussed later in this opinion, we are persuaded that what......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • U.S. v. Papakee, No. 06-CR-162-LRR.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Iowa
    • May 2, 2007
    ...country." A full understanding the importance of this decision requires some discussion of two prior Page 1043 cases: State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728 (Iowa 1975) ("Youngbear I") and Youngbear v. Brewer, 415 F.Supp. 807 (N.D.Iowa 1976) (McManus, C.J.) ("Youngbear a. Youngbear I In 1974, a......
  • Youngbear v. Brewer, No. C 75-62.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • June 25, 1976
    ...affirmed the conviction, specifically rejecting inter alia the contention of lack of subject matter jurisdiction. State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728 (Iowa 1975). A petition for writ of certiorari was sought and denied. Exhaustion of all available state remedies appears to have been complete......
  • State v. Jacoby, No. 59756
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 21, 1977
    ...be more nearly obtained. * * *" The grant or refusal of a continuance lies within trial court's sound discretion. State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728, 734 (Iowa 1975), cert. den., 423 U.S. 1018, 96 S.Ct. 455, 46 L.Ed.2d 390 (1975). On review we will not interfere unless there has been a clea......
  • Sac and Fox Tribe of Mississippi in Iowa v. Licklider, Nos. 77-1534
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 7, 1978
    ...to be "Indian Country" in light of its finding that this land was set apart for the use and occupancy of Indians. State v. Youngbear, 229 N.W.2d 728, 732 (Iowa), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1018, 96 S.Ct. 455, 46 L.Ed.2d 3090 (1975). As discussed later in this opinion, we are persuaded that what......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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