Stickney v. State, No. 31109

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtMORRISON
Citation169 Tex.Crim. 533,336 S.W.2d 133,80 S.Ct. 1245
Decision Date20 January 1960
Docket NumberNo. 31109
PartiesHoward B. STICKNEY, Appellant, v. STATE of Texas, Appellee.

Page 133

336 S.W.2d 133
169 Tex.Crim. 533
Howard B. STICKNEY, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Texas, Appellee.
No. 31109.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas.
Jan. 20, 1960.
Rehearing Denied March 16, 1960.
Certiorari Denied May 31, 1960.
See 80 S.Ct. 1245.

[169 Tex.Crim. 534]

Page 134

W. E. Martin and Kenyon Houchins, Houston, on appeal only (O. John Rogge, New York City, on the brief), for appellant.

Dan Walton, Dist. Atty., Neil McKay, Samuel H. Robertson, Jr., Asst. Dist. Atty., Houston, and Leon B. Douglas, State's Atty. Austin, for the State.

DICE, Commissioner.

Appellant was convicted of murder and his punishment fixed at death.

The conviction is for the murder of Shirley Barnes which the indictment alleged was committed on or about the 24th day of May, 1958.

The State's evidence shows that the deceased, Shirley Barnes and her husband, Clifford Barnes, lived in apartment 7 at 900 Ruth Street in the City of Houston. The appellant and Clifford Barnes were both employed by the Texas Highway Department in Houston and frequently the three visited with each other and went places together. The deceased, Shirley Barnes, was employed in an insurance office and when she failed to report [169 Tex.Crim. 535] to work on Monday and Tuesday, May 26th and 27th, 1958, two of her fellow employees went to her apartment on May 27th to ascertain her whereabouts. Upon arriving at the apartment they observed a large number of flies on a window screen and could smell a strong sickening odor coming from the apartment. As a result of their visit the dead body of the deceased was found on a bed in the apartment. When the body was found it was in the nude, bloody, lying on its back with a pillow over its head and one eye protruding. Blood stains were also on the sheet under the body and blood spots were found in the room, on the door facing and on the sidewalk leading to the apartment. There was also found on the bed sheet under the vagina of the body positive seminal stains and two pubic hairs adhering to the stains. An examination and autopsy performed upon the body by Dr. Joseph Jachimczyk, a pathologist in the Medical Examiner's office of Harris County, revealed three head wounds and skull fractures which the doctor testified could have been made with a blunt instrument and were the cause of the death of the deceased.

Following the finding of the deceased's body the appellant and Clifford Barnes were both charged with the murder and on June 10, 1958, warrants were issued by Justice of the Peace W. C. Ragan for their arrest. On June 11, 1958, a warrant was issued by the United States Commissioner for the Southern District of Texas for the arrest of appellant and Clifford Barnes commanding their arrest to answer a complaint charging them with fleeing from the State of Texas to the State of Louisiana to avoid prosecution for the crime of murder.

On June 18, 1958, the dead body of Clifford Barnes was found lying in a wooded area on a levee road in Fort Bend County several miles distance from the town of Sugarland. When found, the body was wrapped in a blanket and in a badly decomposed condition. Also found near the body

Page 135

was an automobile lug wrench, a woman's bathing suit, a pair of woman's pants and several towels. An examination of the body by Dr. Jachimczyk revealed two fractures of the skull and of the right jaw which the doctor testified could have been inflicted by the lug wrench. The opinion was expressed by Dr. Jachimczyk that the cause of death of the deceased, Clifford Barnes, was a fractured skull from blows to the head.

On June 20, 1958, the appellant was arrested by Constable N. D. Crawford of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as he was changing a tire on his automobile on a highway in the [169 Tex.Crim. 536] vicinity of Muniack, New Brunswick, Canada. The policeman testified that prior to his arresting the appellant he had received information through a broadcast from his police headquarters that a warrant was held by the F.B.I. at Houston, Texas, for the arrest of Howard B. Stickney and Clifford Barnes for murder and that the automobile in which appellant was traveling and license number fit the description of the automobile and license number given in the broadcast in which appellant and Barnes were apposed to be traveling. Policeman Crawford testified that after arresting the appellant he could smell the odor of human blood in the trunk of the car; that there was no wheel wrench in the trunk and that he ascertained that appellant was changing the tire with a tire tool which belonged to a farmer who lived nearby. The testimony further shows that in the search of the automobile some 26 items were taken therefrom and introduced in evidence by the State which included some particles of sand and reddish brown substance found in the trunk of the automobile.

Appellant was returned to Texas and on June 25, 1958, made and signed a written statement to Lt. W. C. Doss of the Houston Police Department in which he confessed to the murders of both the deceaseds, Shirley and Clifford Barnes.

In his confession which was introduced in evidence by the State appellant stated that on Saturday, May 24th, in company with the deceaseds, Shirley and Clifford Barnes, he went to Galveston in his automobile; that Shirley and Clifford wore bathing suits and when they arrived they drove to West Beach; that after dark he and Clifford laid on the ground to sleep and Shirley remained in the automobile; that after Clifford turned over to go to sleep, appellant got up, went to the automobile, got a blanket and lug wrench and returned to where they were sleeping; that he had been thinking of how Clifford treated his wife and he then took the lug wrench and began hitting him; that Shirley then came out of the car and he 'swung at her twice or three times.' Appellant stated that he then took Shirley to the water where he held her under the water; that he then took off her clothes and returned to the car where he laid her on the back floor board and covered her with a blanket; that he then picked up Clifford, rolled him in a blanket and put him and the lug wrench in the trunk of the car and proceeded to drive to the couple's apartment in Houston. Appellant further related how, when he arrived at the apartment in Houston, he took Shirley inside, laid her on the bed, and after he had undressed and placed a pillow over her head he got on the bed and [169 Tex.Crim. 537] had sexual intercourse. Appellant stated that he then drove to his home and decided to give himself up and that he called a newspaper reporter by the name of Walter Manswell and told him that he wanted to confess to a double murder and a rape and made arrangements to call him the next evening; that the next day he got up and drove around town until he left town and drove to Missouri City where he drove some three or four miles down the road where he stopped, got out, opened the trunk and took out the body of Clifford Barnes and threw it in some bushes, together with the lug wrench and some clothes. Appellant finally related how he drove back to Houston, picked up some clothes, then traveled to Louisiana, Minnesota and then to Canada where he was arrested by the Canadian Police.

Page 136

It was further shown by the State's testimony that the pubic hairs found on the sheet under the body of the deceased, Shirley Barnes, had identical characteristics with pubic hairs of the appellant that the sand removed from the trunk of appellant's automobile and from the ladies bathing suit found near the body of Clifford Barnes had identical characteristics with a sample of sand obtained on Galveston Beach. It was further shown that the blood stains on the lug wrench found near the body of Clifford Barnes were group 'O' which was the same blood group as that of the deceased, Shirley Barnes. An examination of blood stains found in appellant's automobile disclosed that it was of human blood of both groups 'A' and 'O'.

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26 practice notes
  • Brown v. State, No. 43685
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • October 26, 1971
    ...to the fact of the telephone conversations. We perceive no violation of the hearsay rule. Cf. Stickney v. State, 169 Tex.Cr.R. 533, 336 S.W.2d 133. Appellant also urges that the trial court erred in admitting and then displaying items of bloody clothing along the jury rail in close proximit......
  • Stickney v. Ellis, No. 18623.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • February 9, 1961
    ...the determination of the Texas Trial Court as affirmed by the Court of Criminal Appeals, Stickney v. 286 F.2d 758 State, Tex.Cr.App., 336 S.W.2d 133, certiorari denied 363 U.S. 807, 80 S.Ct. 1245, 4 L.Ed.2d 1151, on the issue of voluntariness of the confession without conducting a further h......
  • Collins v. State, No. 33514
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • October 2, 1961
    ...of law under the holdings of the Supreme Court of the United States, we do not hesitate to so hold. Stickney v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 336 S.W.2d 133. None of the cases cited have facts and circumstances on all fours with those in the present case and, in our opinion, they are not here In Watt......
  • Brookins v. State, Nos. 46454
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • September 25, 1973
    ...Branch's Ann.P.C.2d Ed., Sec. 130, pages 141 and 142; Brown v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 475 S.W.2d 938; Stickney v. State, 169 Tex.Cr.R. 533, 336 S.W.2d 133. Further, even if the above testimony had been hearsay, we would be constrained to conclude that any error in its admission would have been......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Brown v. State, No. 43685
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • October 26, 1971
    ...to the fact of the telephone conversations. We perceive no violation of the hearsay rule. Cf. Stickney v. State, 169 Tex.Cr.R. 533, 336 S.W.2d 133. Appellant also urges that the trial court erred in admitting and then displaying items of bloody clothing along the jury rail in close proximit......
  • Stickney v. Ellis, No. 18623.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • February 9, 1961
    ...the determination of the Texas Trial Court as affirmed by the Court of Criminal Appeals, Stickney v. 286 F.2d 758 State, Tex.Cr.App., 336 S.W.2d 133, certiorari denied 363 U.S. 807, 80 S.Ct. 1245, 4 L.Ed.2d 1151, on the issue of voluntariness of the confession without conducting a further h......
  • Collins v. State, No. 33514
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • October 2, 1961
    ...of law under the holdings of the Supreme Court of the United States, we do not hesitate to so hold. Stickney v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 336 S.W.2d 133. None of the cases cited have facts and circumstances on all fours with those in the present case and, in our opinion, they are not here In Watt......
  • Brookins v. State, Nos. 46454
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • September 25, 1973
    ...Branch's Ann.P.C.2d Ed., Sec. 130, pages 141 and 142; Brown v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 475 S.W.2d 938; Stickney v. State, 169 Tex.Cr.R. 533, 336 S.W.2d 133. Further, even if the above testimony had been hearsay, we would be constrained to conclude that any error in its admission would have been......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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