Taylor v. State, No. F-96-1102.

CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtJOHNSON.
Citation998 P.2d 1225,2000 OK CR 6
PartiesCharles F. TAYLOR, Appellant, v. STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. F-96-1102.
Decision Date25 February 2000

998 P.2d 1225
2000 OK CR 6

Charles F. TAYLOR, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee

No. F-96-1102.

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma.

February 25, 2000.


998 P.2d 1228
John Thomas Elliott, Indigent Defense System, Norman, Jim B. Miller, McAlester, for Defendant at trial

Donnita Wynn, District Attorney, Christopher Wilson, Assistant District Attorney, McAlester, for the State at trial.

James A. Drummond, Sandra Mulhair Cinnamon, William H. Luker, Appellate Defense Counsel, Norman, for Appellant on appeal.

W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General of Oklahoma, Robert Whittaker, Asst. Attorney General, Oklahoma City, for Appellee on appeal.

OPINION

JOHNSON, Judge:

¶ 1 Charles F. Taylor, Appellant, was charged in Pittsburg County District Court, Case No. CRF-95-570, with Murder (malice aforethought) in the First Degree (Count I), and three counts of Shooting with Intent to Kill (Counts II, III, and IV). The jury found Appellant guilty on all counts and recommended life imprisonment on Counts II, III and IV and the death penalty on Count I after finding two aggravating circumstances: Appellant knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person; and the murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution. Judgments and Sentences were imposed in accordance with the jury's verdicts. Appellant has perfected his appeal to this Court.

FACTS

¶ 2 In mid-October, 1995, three weeks prior to the commission of the crime, Appellant and Shelia Pelz, Appellant's girlfriend, brought a pouch of methamphetamine paste to the house of Steven Verner, a high school friend of Appellant. Appellant and Verner, who lived near McAlester, had not seen each other for several years. Appellant had learned Verner was a drug dealer and sold the methamphetamine paste to Verner for $1,700.00. Verner gave Appellant $400.00 and agreed to pay Appellant the remainder of the money after he sold the methamphetamine. Verner also allowed Appellant and Pelz to stay in his home until he sold the methamphetamine. About a week later, Verner made another $400.00 payment to Appellant and gave him a 9mm Ruger pistol to hold as collateral. Appellant made several attempts to collect his debt without success.

¶ 3 Frankie Oss testified he had not seen Appellant in six years when Appellant showed up where Oss was living. Appellant told Oss he was living in Stillwater, but was down to collect a debt from Verner and was staying at Verner's home. The night before the shootings, Appellant returned to Oss' house with Pelz and two other men. Appellant told Oss the men were going to assist him in getting his money from Verner and showed Oss the 9mm Ruger. The next day around noon, Appellant found Oss at the Mayfair Motel where he had moved the night before. Appellant told Oss he was going to collect his money from Verner, otherwise he might shoot Verner with his own gun if he did not pay. Oss testified he did not take Appellant seriously, but cautioned him about spending the rest of his life in the penitentiary.

¶ 4 Steve Armstrong testified that on November 4, 1995, Appellant and Pelz came to his house. Verner also owed Armstrong money for methamphetamine. Armstrong stated Appellant consumed a 12-pack of beer between noon and nine o'clock. He testified Appellant and Pelz left to go to Verner's to

998 P.2d 1229
see if Verner had their money. Appellant told Armstrong he was going to "cap the son of a bitch (Verner) so that bitch (Pelz) would shut up and leave him alone."

¶ 5 On the night in question, Appellant went to Verner's home. Verner testified he took Appellant into the kitchen, offered him food and said:

Charles, I know I owe you some money. I do plan to pay you the money. Whatever you think the debt is left, I plan to pay you. I don't have any right now, but I am working. I will be getting a check and you'll be the first one I take care of.

Appellant asked how long it would be before he could pay him back and Verner responded that it would be about two weeks. Appellant replied that was not good enough. He looked at Verner as if he was going to cry and said, "I'm worried about it's down to the point of being or not being." Verner stated he reached out in an attempt to console Appellant and to keep him from crying. He then asked Appellant, "You mean to tell me they're going to kill me over $800.00?" Appellant shoved Verner away, pulled a pistol from inside his shirt and shot Verner in the mouth.

¶ 6 Verner then heard two more shots and thought Appellant had committed suicide in the next room. However, these shots were the ones that eventually killed his friend Michael Sauer who was in the living room watching television. Verner then heard his daughter Lindsay scream, "Daddy, Daddy, help me" and ran into the front room and found Lindsay shot and lying on the floor. Verner looked out the front door of the house and saw Appellant shoot Adrianne N. Smith twice.

¶ 7 Lindsay testified she believed Pelz's car had backfired when she heard the shots. Lindsay exited Pelz's vehicle where she was sitting with her friend Adrianne and started toward the house when she saw Appellant emerge waving a pistol. She attempted to run into the house. As she passed, Lindsay heard him say, "I hope you die, bitch" and then Appellant shot Lindsay in the side of her head.

¶ 8 Adrianne exited the vehicle and began to run away from the house. When she saw Appellant shoot Lindsay, Adrianne attempted to return to aid her friend, but Appellant shot her. While she lay on the ground, Appellant shot her again. Appellant then got into Pelz's car and they sped away.

¶ 9 Michael Sauer telephoned to report the shootings and gave a description of Appellant, his name and a description of the vehicle. Officers Weeks and Busby apprehended Appellant and Pelz after a police chase.

¶ 10 Pelz stepped out of the driver's side and laid down on her stomach. Appellant stumbled out of the passenger's side and started walking off in the wrong direction. Upon his arrest, Appellant complained he had hurt his finger, but declined to be taken to the hospital.

¶ 11 Appellant testified at trial that before he went to Verner's home, he had consumed alcohol and methamphetamine. He admitted having Verner's loaded gun inside his shirt when he knocked on the door, but said he was going to return it upon payment of the money. He also testified when Verner reached out towards him, he became scared, pushed him back, pulled out the gun from within his shirt, and shot him in the face.

¶ 12 He stated that when Verner grabbed his face and fell to the ground, he flipped out and started running towards the door. While running through the living room, Appellant saw movement out of the corner of his eyes and fired twice in the direction of the movement. Outside, he saw two more people running towards him screaming and just started shooting in their direction. He then got into Pelz's car and drove off. Pelz asked him what had happened, but Appellant said he could not remember.

¶ 13 Appellant could not explain why it scared him when Verner put his arm around him. Further, he could not remember telling Lindsay that he hoped she died. Appellant testified he did not aim as he shot, but the gun was just flailing around and he was shooting it at anyone running towards him. He did not remember telling Oss he was going to kill Verner with his own gun.

998 P.2d 1230
¶ 14 Other facts will be revealed as they become relevant to the propositions of error

JURY SELECTION ISSUES

¶ 15 In his ninth proposition of error, Appellant raises a challenge to jury selection. He contends the prosecution violated Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986) by using all but one of its peremptory challenges to strike women and the sole black male. Appellant states in his reply brief there is no record evidence of venireman Emanuel Sexton's race. This was the subject of Appellant's first proposition of error in his Application For Evidentiary Hearing On Sixth Amendment Claims. In our Order remanding for an evidentiary hearing, we found the evidence supporting this claim was in the appellate record and available for review. Taylor v. State, 1998 OK CR 64, 972 P.2d 864. Therefore, we found no need for additional evidence to be gathered in an evidentiary hearing.

¶ 16 Upon review of the appellate record, we find the record does not support Appellant's claim that he was tried by a jury selected in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The final panel consisted of eight women and four men, with an additional male and female as alternates. Additionally, we find no support that Sexton's excusal was racially based. This proposition is denied.

FIRST STAGE ISSUES

¶ 17 In his first proposition of error, Appellant claims that he was entitled to a first degree manslaughter instruction, although the instruction was not requested by trial counsel. Appellant reasons that because the trial court instructed on voluntary intoxication, the evidence therefore supported a reasonable doubt as to whether he could have formed the specific intent to kill Michael Sauer. Appellant relies on Tarter v. State, 1961 OK CR 18, ¶ 34, 359 P.2d 596, 601, where this Court held "[i]n a prosecution for murder, the court should instruct the jury on the law of each degree of homicide which the evidence tends to prove, whether it be requested or not. . . ."

¶ 18 The State responds that the trial court erred in giving the voluntary intoxication instruction because evidence that Appellant had consumed alcohol and amphetamines on the day of the offense was not sufficient evidence upon which to give the instruction. Apart from Steve Armstrong's testimony that he and Appellant shared a 12-pack of beer the day of the shooting frenzy, the only evidence Appellant had taken any drugs or consumed alcohol came from Appellant. Because Appellant was able to give a detailed account of the events and...

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19 practice notes
  • Williams v. Workman, Case No. 02-CV-0377-JHP-FHM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Northern District of Oklahoma
    • March 7, 2011
    ...was not done with the intention of taking the life of any particular individual. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 701.8(1); Taylor v. State, 998 P.2d 1225, 1231 (Okla. Crim. App. 2000), abrogated on other grounds. The parties are in agreement that the focus is on the intent element. Here, Petitioner ......
  • Cuesta-rodriguez v. State Of Okla., Case Number: D-2007-825
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • October 12, 2010
    ...2007 OK CR 34, ¶ 3, 168 P.3d at 233-34 (Lumpkin, P.J., concurring in party/dissenting in part). SeeTaylor v. State, 2000 OK CR 6, ¶ 19, 998 P.2d 1225, 1230; Jackson v. State, 1998 OK CR 39, ¶ 65, 964 P.2d 875, 892. ¶3 As to Proposition II, it should be noted that the normal experiences and ......
  • CUESTA-RODRIGUEZ v. State of Okla., No. D-2007-825.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • October 12, 2010
    ...2007 OK CR 34, ¶ 3, 168 P.3d at 233-34 (Lumpkin, P.J., concurring in part/dissenting in part). See Taylor v. State, 2000 OK CR 6, ¶ 19, 998 P.2d 1225, 1230; Jackson v. State, 1998 OK CR 39, ¶ 65, 964 P.2d 875, 892. ¶ 3 As to Proposition II, it should be noted that the normal experiences and......
  • Malone v. State, No. D-2005-600.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • August 31, 2007
    ...whether an instruction on defendant's theory of defense should be given."). The State invokes Taylor v. State, 2000 OK CR 6, ¶ 20, 998 P.2d 1225, 1230, in which this Court found that "an instruction on voluntary intoxication was not warranted by the evidence and it was error for the trial c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Williams v. Workman, Case No. 02-CV-0377-JHP-FHM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Northern District of Oklahoma
    • March 7, 2011
    ...was not done with the intention of taking the life of any particular individual. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 701.8(1); Taylor v. State, 998 P.2d 1225, 1231 (Okla. Crim. App. 2000), abrogated on other grounds. The parties are in agreement that the focus is on the intent element. Here, Petitioner ......
  • Cuesta-rodriguez v. State Of Okla., Case Number: D-2007-825
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • October 12, 2010
    ...2007 OK CR 34, ¶ 3, 168 P.3d at 233-34 (Lumpkin, P.J., concurring in party/dissenting in part). SeeTaylor v. State, 2000 OK CR 6, ¶ 19, 998 P.2d 1225, 1230; Jackson v. State, 1998 OK CR 39, ¶ 65, 964 P.2d 875, 892. ¶3 As to Proposition II, it should be noted that the normal experiences and ......
  • CUESTA-RODRIGUEZ v. State of Okla., No. D-2007-825.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • October 12, 2010
    ...2007 OK CR 34, ¶ 3, 168 P.3d at 233-34 (Lumpkin, P.J., concurring in part/dissenting in part). See Taylor v. State, 2000 OK CR 6, ¶ 19, 998 P.2d 1225, 1230; Jackson v. State, 1998 OK CR 39, ¶ 65, 964 P.2d 875, 892. ¶ 3 As to Proposition II, it should be noted that the normal experiences and......
  • Malone v. State, No. D-2005-600.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • August 31, 2007
    ...whether an instruction on defendant's theory of defense should be given."). The State invokes Taylor v. State, 2000 OK CR 6, ¶ 20, 998 P.2d 1225, 1230, in which this Court found that "an instruction on voluntary intoxication was not warranted by the evidence and it was error for the trial c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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