Teague v. State, No. 1276S457

Docket NºNo. 1276S457
Citation379 N.E.2d 418, 269 Ind. 103
Case DateJuly 28, 1978
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 418

379 N.E.2d 418
269 Ind. 103
James L. TEAGUE, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 1276S457.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
July 28, 1978.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 10, 1978.

[269 Ind. 106]

Page 419

James E. Freeman, Jr., Sansberry, Dickmann, Dickmann & Freeman, Anderson, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Kenneth R. Stamm, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Appellant Teague was charged with first-degree murder and tried by a jury in the Madison Circuit Court. At the close of the evidence for the state, appellant moved for a directed verdict in his favor regarding the charge of first-degree murder. The trial court granted this motion and the trial proceeded. After the close of all the evidence, a second motion for a directed verdict was overruled and the jury, on June 14, 1976, returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder. Appellant was sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison during life.

Page 420

The murder in question occurred on the evening of August 16, 1975. Appellant James Teague was driving his Chevrolet pickup truck on Anderson Street in Elwood, Indiana, when he suddenly turned into an alley in which the victim, Daniel Haynes, was walking. Appellant almost struck the victim. Daniel Haynes climbed over the hood of the truck, and approached the window at the driver's side. At this time the appellant and the victim were heard to argue with each other loudly, and to exchange blows at the window of the truck. Appellant Teague was then seen to lean over and reach down [269 Ind. 107] toward the passenger side of the cab, at which time Daniel Haynes bolted and ran from the scene. The victim exited the alley and ran down the sidewalk on Anderson Street. The appellant came around the corner and fired a .22 semi-automatic rifle at him four times. The victim fell to the sidewalk, and appellant then got back in his truck and left the scene. He later surrendered himself to the police, on the advice of his attorney, at the home of his sister-in-law in Anderson, Indiana. Four eyewitnesses testified as to the events above set out.

Witnesses further testified that the Elwood Chief of Police came on the scene a few minutes after the shooting, and found the victim lying on his back on the sidewalk. The victim was having difficulty breathing and talking, but was able to tell the Chief of Police, when asked, that Butch Teague had shot him. Appellant testified in his own behalf in the trial and stated that the victim was choking him in the pickup truck, and that he reached for the rifle to defend himself to use as a striking weapon to ward off this attack by the victim. At this point, appellant testified he thought the gun may have discharged, although he was not sure. Appellant further testified that when he shot the rifle out on the street, as the victim was fleeing the scene, he shot in the air and not at the victim. Appellant stated that this was done in an attempt to frighten the victim, so that he would attack no more. There was further evidence, presented by the state, that the victim had been shot in the back with a rifle slug. This slug was recovered from the victim's chest area, and caused his death within a matter of hours. By ballistic test, this slug was proven to have come from the rifle, owned by the appellant, that had been fired that night.

Several errors are claimed on appeal, which we group and discuss as they relate to the following concerns: (1) admission of evidence gathered from an allegedly unconstitutional search and seizure; (2) admission of the victim's dying statements to the police; (3) admission of a photograph of [269 Ind. 108] appellant; (4) admission of shirts, worn by the victim and appellant, respectively, at the time of the incident in question; (5) exclusion of evidence about the character of the victim; (6) incidents of alleged prosecutorial misconduct; (7) the husband-wife privilege, as it relates to the testimony of certain rebuttal witnesses for the state; (8) the giving of certain final instructions tendered by the state; (9) the refusal of certain final instructions tendered by appellant; (10) the sentencing of appellant; (11) sufficiency of the evidence, and; (12) certain alleged "fundamental errors," the consideration of which should assertedly bypass normal appellate procedure.

I.

The first error assigned by appellant is that of the trial court denying his Motion to Suppress admission into evidence of the rifle in question, which was found in an outbuilding on appellant's premises.

Shortly after the events set out above, several members of the Elwood police department went to appellant's home to apprehend and arrest him. Although members of the police department were in the process of obtaining a search warrant, none had yet been obtained and none of the officers on the premises had such a search warrant. This fact is stipulated to by all parties, and it is further stipulated to by all of the parties that the officers had facts that constituted probable cause for the arrest of appellant. When the officers arrived at appellant's home, they observed his

Page 421

pickup truck parked four or five feet from the door of the outbuilding very near to the residence. The appellant's wife told Officers Dotson and Stevens that appellant was not at home. Thereupon Officer Dotson walked over to the parked truck and felt the hood, noticing that the hood was warm. He then proceeded to the garage, located about five feet in front of the parked truck, knocked on the door and called for Mr. Teague to come out. He then shined his flashlight through the window [269 Ind. 109] into the building and was able to see a .22 caliber rifle sitting inside the door and leaning against a bench or shelf. This outbuilding was partitioned into rooms, but the police were not able to see into the rooms other than the one containing the rifle and other items. The officers forced the door and obtained possession of the rifle. Ballistics tests later indicated that the fatal bullet came from this rifle, and that it was the same weapon owned by and used by the appellant on the night of the killing.

It is appellant's position that the police officers violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, as applied to the state of Indiana through the Fourteenth Amendment, by their failure to obtain a search warrant prior to entering appellant's garage. Appellant concedes that the officers had a right to initially go upon the real estate to make an inquiry as to appellant's whereabouts. His position, however, seems to be that after the appellant's wife had informed the officers that the appellant was not at home, it was their duty to immediately leave the premises and search no more. At that point, the argument goes, the police became trespassers on the property. Appellant further argues that since the police officers were trespassers of the curtilage of his premises, then their obtaining of the rifle without a search warrant cannot be justified by the plain or open view doctrine authorized in Paxton v. State, (1970) 255 Ind. 264, 263 N.E.2d 636, and Alcorn v. State, (1970) 255 Ind. 491, 265 N.E.2d 413.

Appellant's position would have merit if the police at this point were not aware that a crime had been committed, and were in the process of searching for evidence to gain probable cause. If such were the case, the police would have merely been looking for evidence that would tend to substantiate their suspicion that items might be found on the premises, so to prove that appellant was guilty of a crime or was committing some crime on the property. The police here, however, were not looking for evidence against appellant in the buildings. They were looking for appellant himself, as evidenced by the [269 Ind. 110] facts that they talked to his wife about his whereabouts, called out his name, and attempted to effect his surrender and arrest. It is conceded that the police had a right to be there for the arrest of appellant, and were in the process of making a determination of whether or not he was there. The fact that appellant's truck was parked four or five feet from the garage, and that the motor was still warm, gave them reasonable grounds to suppose that he might be hiding in the building. They had a right and a duty to make that determination by investigating, not only to fulfill their duty of arresting appellant for the protection of society, but also to protect themselves. The facts in this case are similar to those in Warden v. Hayden, (1967) 387 U.S. 294, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 18 L.Ed.2d 782, in which the United States Supreme Court held:

"We agree with the Court of Appeals that neither the entry without warrant to search for the robber, nor the search for him without warrant was invalid. Under the circumstances of this case, 'the exigencies of the situation made that course imperative.' McDonald v. United States, 335 U.S. 451, 456, 69 S.Ct. 191, 193, 93 L.Ed. 153. The police . . . acted reasonably when they entered the house and began to search for a man of the description they had been given and for weapons which he had used in the robbery or might use against them. The Fourth Amendment does not require police officers to delay in the course of an investigation if to do so would greatly endanger their lives or the lives of others. Speed here was essential, and only a thorough

Page 422

search of the house for persons and weapons could have insured that Hayden was the only man present and that the police had control of all weapons which could be used against them or to effect an escape."

387 U.S. at 298-99, 87 S.Ct. at 1645-46, 18 L.Ed.2d at 787. Here, the officers could not see all the interior of the garage, and the presence of appellant's truck could easily have led them to believe that the rifle would be used to effect an escape or be used against them. Since they had a right to be where they were and to take the...

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39 practice notes
  • Norton v. State, No. 377S185
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Agosto 1980
    ...to during the State's case-in-chief. Appellant now claims this was improper rebuttal evidence. We stated in Teague v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 103, 121-22, 379 N.E.2d 418, 427: "Rebuttal evidence is, as the name indicates, that which tends [273 Ind. 657] to explain or contradict or disprove e......
  • Commonwealth v. Adjutant
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 2 Noviembre 2004
    ...510, 513-515 (1983); State v. Custodio, 136 Idaho 197, 203 (Ct. App. 2001); People v. Lynch, 104 Ill. 2d 194, 200 (1984); Teague v. State, 269 Ind. 103, 115-116 (1978); State v. Dunson, 433 N.W.2d 676, 680 (Iowa 1988); State v. Deavers, 252 Kan. 149, 156-157 (1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 9......
  • Commonwealth v. Rhonda Adjutant, SJC-09299 (MA 3/14/2005), SJC-09299
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 14 Marzo 2005
    ...510, 513-515 (1983); State v. Custodio, 136 Idaho 197, 203 (Ct. App. 2001); People v. Lynch, 104 Ill. 2d 194, 200 (1984); Teague v. State, 269 Ind. 103, 115-116 (1978); State v. Dunson, 433 N.W.2d 676, 680 (Iowa 1988); State v. Deavers, 252 Kan. 149, 156-157 (1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 9......
  • Calhoun v. Farley, No. 2:94cv243AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • 27 Diciembre 1995
    ...murder victim's criminal record has no relevance at trial. Madison v. State, (1971) 256 Ind. 353, 269 N.E.2d 164; Teague v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 103, 379 N.E.2d 418; Osburn v. State, (1905) 164 Ind. 262, 73 N.E. 601. However, it may become relevant if self-defense is in Proof of a homicid......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
39 cases
  • Norton v. State, No. 377S185
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Agosto 1980
    ...to during the State's case-in-chief. Appellant now claims this was improper rebuttal evidence. We stated in Teague v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 103, 121-22, 379 N.E.2d 418, 427: "Rebuttal evidence is, as the name indicates, that which tends [273 Ind. 657] to explain or contradict or disprove e......
  • Commonwealth v. Adjutant
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 2 Noviembre 2004
    ...510, 513-515 (1983); State v. Custodio, 136 Idaho 197, 203 (Ct. App. 2001); People v. Lynch, 104 Ill. 2d 194, 200 (1984); Teague v. State, 269 Ind. 103, 115-116 (1978); State v. Dunson, 433 N.W.2d 676, 680 (Iowa 1988); State v. Deavers, 252 Kan. 149, 156-157 (1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 9......
  • Commonwealth v. Rhonda Adjutant, SJC-09299 (MA 3/14/2005), SJC-09299
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 14 Marzo 2005
    ...510, 513-515 (1983); State v. Custodio, 136 Idaho 197, 203 (Ct. App. 2001); People v. Lynch, 104 Ill. 2d 194, 200 (1984); Teague v. State, 269 Ind. 103, 115-116 (1978); State v. Dunson, 433 N.W.2d 676, 680 (Iowa 1988); State v. Deavers, 252 Kan. 149, 156-157 (1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 9......
  • Calhoun v. Farley, No. 2:94cv243AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • 27 Diciembre 1995
    ...murder victim's criminal record has no relevance at trial. Madison v. State, (1971) 256 Ind. 353, 269 N.E.2d 164; Teague v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 103, 379 N.E.2d 418; Osburn v. State, (1905) 164 Ind. 262, 73 N.E. 601. However, it may become relevant if self-defense is in Proof of a homicid......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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