Thorne v. State

Decision Date16 February 1973
Docket NumberNo. 171S7,171S7
Citation292 N.E.2d 607,260 Ind. 70
PartiesRichard THORNE, alias Ricky Thorne, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Phillips B. Johnson, Versailles, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., William D. Bucher, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

HUNTER, Justice.

This is an appeal by Richard Thorne, appellant (defendant below), from a conviction for possession of dangerous drugs. Appellant was charged by affidavit and was tried by jury which found him guilty. He was sentenced to the Indiana Reformatory for not less than one nor more than ten years. A motion to correct errors, filed September 14, 1970, was overruled and this appeal followed.

Appellant makes three contentions of error. First, that appellant was charged with possession of 'lysergic acid' which is not defined as a dangerous drug in the statute; secondly, that the State failed to prove that the substance possessed was a dangerous drug; thirdly, that the trial court erred when it gave an instruction concerning the appellant's failure to testify in his own behalf.

Appellant's first argument is that the affidavit charged the appellant with possession of 'lysergic acid which is commonly known as LSD . . .' while the statute in part defines a dangerous drug as:

'any hallucinogenic, psychedelic, psychogenic drug or substance including but not limited to lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD.' IC 1971, 16--6--8--2 (Ind.Ann.Stat. § 35--3332 (1969 Repl.)) *

The contention is that the affidavit is defective because the word 'diethylamide' was omitted.

The basis for the appellant's argument is Burk v. State (1971), Ind., 275 N.E.2d 1, where we stated that since LSD had never been defined as a narcotic drug by the Narcotic Drug Act, an affidavit charging use of LSD under the Act would be erroneous. Here appellant contends that the dangerous drug act does not define 'lysergic acid' as a dangerous drug; that the drug defined in IC 1971, 16--6--8--2 (Ind.Ann.Stat. § 35--3332 (1969 Repl.)) is 'lysergic acid diethylamide.' However, both the affidavit and the statute contain the words 'commonly known as LSD.' The affidavit contains substantially the same language as the statute, and we are not here concerned with the Burk situation where the statute made no mention of LSD at all. Defects or imperfections in an affidavit are only grounds for reversal where they prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant. Arrington v. State (1952), 230 Ind. 384, 103 N.E.2d 210; Adams v. State (1946), 224 Ind. 472, 69 N.E.2d 21. Appellant alleges no prejudice nor is there any evidence of prejudice resulting. It is clear that appellant knew exactly the crime with which he was being charged.

Appellant also contends that a variance of proof existed between the affidavit and the proof at trial since the proof indicated that the substance involved was lysergic acid diethylamide whereas the affidavit merely stated 'lysergic acid.' The test in determining whether a variance is material is whether the defendant is misled by the variance. Adams v. State (1970), 254 Ind. 509, 260 N.E.2d 878. Appellant never alleges that he was misled and nothing in the record indicates that appellant was misled. The slight imperfection in the affidavit in no way prejudiced appellant's cause and does not form grounds for a reversal.

Appellant's second contention is that the evidence was insufficient to prove that LSD was the substance possessed because no one testified as to the chemical composition of the substance. However, the identity of the drug may be proven by circumstantial evidence. Slettvet v. State (1972), Ind., 280 N.E.2d 806; Pettit v. State (1972), Ind., 281 N.E.2d 807.

In the case at bar, no drugs were seized. The main evidence in the case comes from the appellant...

To continue reading

Request your trial
15 cases
  • Sizemore v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 19 March 1974
    ...for reversal, defects or imperfections in the affidavit must have prejudiced the substantial rights of the defendant. Thorne v. State (1973), Ind., 292 N.E.2d 607. The record reveals that appellant was clearly aware of the nature of the crime with which he was being charged. We therefore co......
  • Gubitz v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 1 March 1977
    ...that he was misled. He has thus failed to demonstrate how the alleged imperfection prejudiced his substantial rights. Thorne v. State (1973), 260 Ind. 70, 292 N.E.2d 607; Sizemore v. State (1974), Ind.App., 308 N.E.2d 400 (transfer denied), cert. denied, 420 U.S. 909, 95 S.Ct. 827, 42 L.Ed.......
  • Mauricio v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • 2 April 1985
    ...A defect in an affidavit is grounds for reversal only where it prejudices the substantial rights of the defendant. Thorne v. State, (1973) 260 Ind. 70, 292 N.E.2d 607; Gubitz v. State, (1977) 172 Ind.App. 343, 354; 360 N.E.2d 259, 267, trans. denied. No reasonable interpretation of the fact......
  • Alvers v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 18 February 1986
    ...a charging instrument are grounds for reversal only where they prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant. Thorne v. State (1973), 260 Ind. 70, 71, 292 N.E.2d 607, 608. In the present case, the indictment specifically states the acts committed and the nature and elements of those act......
  • 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