Stuck v. State, No. 370S71

Docket NºNo. 370S71
Citation264 N.E.2d 611, 24 Ind.Dec. 46, 255 Ind. 350
Case DateDecember 15, 1970
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 611

264 N.E.2d 611
255 Ind. 350
Fred C. STUCK, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 370S71.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Dec. 15, 1970.

[255 Ind. 351]

Page 612

Wendell B. Iddings, Lebanon, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert F. Hassett, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

HUNTER, Chief Justice.

The appellant was charged by indictment with the crime of first degree murder. Trial by jury resulted in a conviction of murder in the second degree and appellant was sentenced to the Indiana State Prison for life.

Several issues are raised on appeal as grounds for reversal. Appellant contends the verdict is not sustained by sufficient evidence and is therefore contrary to law; he assigns as error the trial court's overruling of his motion entitled A Plea in Abatement, Motion to Supress Evidence and Motion for Discharge of Defendant and its failure to sustain his motion [255 Ind. 352] for a directed verdict at the close of the State's evidence; finally appellant challenges the admission of certain testimony by one Floyd McClure, his father-in-law.

In reviewing a criminal conviction we may consider only that evidence most favorable to the State and all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. Buckner v. State (1969), Ind., 248 N.E.2d 348; Carter v. State (1968), 250 Ind. 50, 234 N.E.2d 850; Manlove v. State (1968), 250 Ind. 70, 232 N.E.2d 874, 235 N.E.2d 62.

In this case that evidence may be summarized as follows:

On January 11, 1969 appellant and Floyd McClure consummated a plan to steal a pig and in pursuance of their designs they secured a 22 caliber pistol owned by appellant's wife. Appellant, attired in a red hunting hat and a blue windreaker jacket, elected to drive his wife's 1959 Chrysler Imperial which bore Indiana license plate number 49N7614. The car was pale green with a white top and had a cardboard with a slit in it over the driver's door window.

After a stop at a tavern they drove to the area of Westfield High School where appellant parked the car near a field containing swine and proceeded to shoot and kill one of the animals. At approximately this time Westfield Deputy Marshal David Brown came upon the scene in his patrol car. He parked near appellant's vehicle and called him over making a note of the appellant's license plate number on a note pad which lay in the seat to the officer's right.

The deputy then called the Noblesville Police dispatcher and requested a record check on appellant, Fred C. Stuck. Approximately nine minutes later, at 8:37 P.M., the dispatcher was unable to reach Officer Brown on the radio. Prompt investigation led to his discovery, shot to death behind the steering wheel of his car at the scene of his confrontation with the appellant. His service revolver was missing and it was later revealed by ballistics testing that it had been the gun used to kill him.

[255 Ind. 353] Observing the license number written on the note pad, the investigating officers had it checked through the records bureau. When it proved to be registered to Doris Stuck, appellant's wife, an immediate broadcast was made to be on the lookout for appellant and a car bearing Indiana license number 49N7614.

At approximately 8:30 P.M. a farmer had noticed a Westfield police car and a greenish car with a light top parked near where the deputy was found. He approached within fifty or sixty feet on foot and observed that the police vehicle's dome light

Page 613

was on and that two men were sitting in it, One, an officer, appeared to be writing a ticket. The other occupant was wearing a red hat and what appeared to be a blue jacket. In the pale green car, on the passenger side, sat a third individual.

Also at about 8:30 P.M. Rodney Dennis, driving near the scene, saw the police car and a light colored car parked. He saw two people in the police vehicle; the driver appeared to be writing and the other occupant was wearing a red hat. The light hued car had a piece of cardboard with a slit in it over the driver's door window.

One Marvin Lockhart testified that, at approximately 9:00 P.M. that same evening while motoring in the area, he observed a light colored 1959 Chrysler Imperial with its trunk open four to six inches and secured by a wire. The vehicle proceeded south on Keystone Avenue toward Indianaplis and Lockhart had occasion to follow it for approximately fifty blocks. During this period, while both cars were stopped at a light, Lockhart could see there were two occupants in the light colored automobile. He was unable to see their faces but did note that the man in the passenger's seat had on a checkered shirt.

Officer Huber of the Indianapolice Police Department heard the broadcast directing a lookout for appellant and a car bearing the particular license number. He recalled that he had stopped appellant in a 1959 light green Chrysler Imperial [255 Ind. 354] bearing Indiana license plate 49N7614 for a muffler violation earlier in the evening, around ten o'clock. At that time appellant had a passenger with him who wore a checkered shirt. Appellant had given Officer Huber the area of his residence. Huber reported his recollections to his superiors and was directed to seek out appellant. Upon locating the Chrysler Imperial parked in front of a duplex residence Huber radioed headquarters and was directed to wait assistance. As help arrived a short while later, Huber saw McClure on the front steps of the residence wearing a checkered shirt. The officers directed McClure to stop but he looked in their direction and turned into the house; the officers followed him and caught up a short distance inside the door. McClure had proceeded to start up some stairs to the second floor and was there arrested. At this time appellant came into view from off the adjacent kitchen wearing a blue jacket and a red hunting hat. In the kitchen, in open view, lay a partly butchered pig. Appellant, asked if he was Fred C. Stuck, replied that he was not and further indicated that no one by that name lived there. The officers asked to see his identification papers and when they revealed his name he was arrested. The time was approximately 11:45 P.M., about two and one half hours after Deputy Brown had been found.

Certain members of the arresting contingent looked through the windows of the 1959 Chrysler Imperial parked in front of the arrest situs. Inside they observed two pistols, one stuck in the driver's door handrest...

To continue reading

Request your trial
18 practice notes
  • Payne v. State, No. 3--674A98
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 11, 1976
    ...an arrest, the police must have probable cause to reasonably believe that a crime has been or is being committed. Stuck v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 350, 264 N.E.2d 611. The degree of credibility required when information must be sufficient to justify a suspicion of criminal activity is less t......
  • Com. v. Forde
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 22, 1975
    ...575 (1971). See Wheeler v. Goodman, 330 F.Supp. 1356, 1371 (W.D.N.C.1971) (holding not limited to arrests in dwellings); Stuck v. State, 255 Ind. 350, 356--358, 264 N.E.2d 611 (1970) (arrest warrant must be secured whenever practicable); Nilson v. State, 272 Md. 179, 185--191, 321 A.2d 301 ......
  • Butler v. State, No. 2--672A16
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 5, 1972
    ...warrantless search and seizure. Coolidge v. New Hampshire, (1971) 403 U.S. 443, 91 S.Ct. 2022, 29 L.Ed.2d 564; Stuck v. State, (Ind.1970) 264 N.E.2d 611; Manson v. State, (1967) 249 Ind. 53, 229 N.E.2d Because of the automobile's mobility a search may be thwarted if delayed. Relaxation of t......
  • Wallace v. State, No. 583S190
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 6, 1985
    ...the seizure was justified. Chambers v. Maroney (1970), 399 U.S. 42, 90 S.Ct. 1975, 26 L.Ed.2d 419, reh. denied. Stuck v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 350, 264 N.E.2d Appellant next assigns as error the trial court's granting to the State a motion in limine regarding two questions Defendant reques......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Payne v. State, No. 3--674A98
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 11, 1976
    ...an arrest, the police must have probable cause to reasonably believe that a crime has been or is being committed. Stuck v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 350, 264 N.E.2d 611. The degree of credibility required when information must be sufficient to justify a suspicion of criminal activity is less t......
  • Com. v. Forde
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 22, 1975
    ...575 (1971). See Wheeler v. Goodman, 330 F.Supp. 1356, 1371 (W.D.N.C.1971) (holding not limited to arrests in dwellings); Stuck v. State, 255 Ind. 350, 356--358, 264 N.E.2d 611 (1970) (arrest warrant must be secured whenever practicable); Nilson v. State, 272 Md. 179, 185--191, 321 A.2d 301 ......
  • Butler v. State, No. 2--672A16
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 5, 1972
    ...warrantless search and seizure. Coolidge v. New Hampshire, (1971) 403 U.S. 443, 91 S.Ct. 2022, 29 L.Ed.2d 564; Stuck v. State, (Ind.1970) 264 N.E.2d 611; Manson v. State, (1967) 249 Ind. 53, 229 N.E.2d Because of the automobile's mobility a search may be thwarted if delayed. Relaxation of t......
  • Wallace v. State, No. 583S190
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 6, 1985
    ...the seizure was justified. Chambers v. Maroney (1970), 399 U.S. 42, 90 S.Ct. 1975, 26 L.Ed.2d 419, reh. denied. Stuck v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 350, 264 N.E.2d Appellant next assigns as error the trial court's granting to the State a motion in limine regarding two questions Defendant reques......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT