Tifford v. State

Decision Date25 May 1976
Docket NumberNo. 75--116,75--116
Citation334 So.2d 91
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals
PartiesArthur W. TIFFORD, Appellant, v. The STATE of Florida, Appellee.

Robert L. Achor, Miami, for appellant.

Robert L. Shevin, Atty. Gen., and Joel D. Rosenblatt, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Before PEARSON, HENDRY and NATHAN, JJ.

PER CURIAM.

The appellant, Arthur W. Tifford, was one of the defendants in an information which charged him in two counts. Other defendants were charged in other counts. Defendant Tifford was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit: accessory after the fact and with being an accessory after the fact to the crimes of grand larceny, forgery and uttering forged instruments. He was found guilty by a jury, with adjudication and sentence entered thereon. This appeal followed.

Two points are presented: (1) The court erred when it denied Tifford's motion for severance from the other defendants. (2) The court erred when it denied Tifford's motion for relief for misjoinder. The points should logically be discussed in the reverse order and, therefore, we shall proceed with the point claiming that there was a misjoinder of defendants.

Rule 3.150(b), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, provides:

'(b) Joinder of Defendants. Two or more defendants may be charged in the same indictment or information upon which they are to be tried:

'(1) when each defendant is charged with accountability for each offense charged;

'(2) when each defendant is charged with conspiracy and some of the defendants are also charged with one or more offenses alleged to have been committed in furtherance of the conspiracy; or

'(3) when, even if conspiracy is not charged and all defendants are not charged in each county, it is alleged that the several offenses charged were part of a common scheme or plan.

'Such defendants may be charged in one or more counts together or separately, and all of the defendants need not be charged in each count.'

The principal defendant at the trial of the several defendants was S. K. Bronstein who was charged in numerous counts with the appropriation of money belonging to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital Corporation, an institution in Miami, Florida. In substance, those counts charged that Bronstein, the President of the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital Corporation, wrongfully caused that hospital to issue twenty-one (21) checks to various payees, which were fraudulently endorsed and cashed and the proceeds of which were appropriated by Bronstein.

The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 1 provide for one trial in instances involving related offenses as well as those instances involving several defendants charged with the same offense. Certainly, conspiracy to cover up a larceny is a related offense. In Wilson v. State, Fla.App.1974, 298 So.2d 433, 434, the rule is stated that joinder is not proper unless:

'. . . the charging document makes one of the following allegations: (a) each defendant is charged with accountability for each offense, or (b) each defendant is charged with conspiracy, or (c) the several offenses charged are part of a common scheme or plan. The answer lies in the interpretation of Rules 3.150(b) and 3.152(b), RCrP, and authorities construing similar federal rules.'

We hold that the joinder of defendant Tifford with defendant Bronstein has not been shown to be error.

The second point presented urges error upon the denial of defendant Tifford's motion for severance.

CrPR 3.152(b), concerning 'Severance of defendants,' in pertient part, provides:

'(1) On motion of the State or a defendant, the court shall order a severance of defendants and separate trials:

'(i) before trial, upon a showing that such order is necessary to protect a defendant's right to a speedy trial, or is appropriate to promote a fair determination of the guilt or innocence of one or more defendants . . .'

On September 23, 1974 Tifford moved the circuit court for a severance from the trial of the other defendants. That motion, in part, stated:

'COMES NOW the Defendant, ARTHUR TIFFORD, by and through his undersigned attorneys, and moves this Court for a severance from the trial of the other named defendants, and to be tried subsequent to them, pursuant to Rule 3.152(b), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and cases decided thereunder. As grounds therefor, the Defendant respectfully submits thd following:

'1. Arthur Tifford's co-defendants would, of necessity, testify in a manner exonerating him if called to testify. Tifford intends and promises to call his co-defendants to the stand so that they may do so, and they have each and all indicated they would testify as provided below.

'2. Without the testimony which is the subject matter of the co-defendants' testimony, this Defendant would lack substantial corroboration of his statement of the facts, which show a lack of criminal culpability on his part.

'3. The Defendant Bronstein would testify, once removed from criminal jeopardy; * * * In substance, Bronstein's testimony would be that he, Bronstein, never imparted to Tifford any information from which Tifford could have derived knowledge that he, Bronstein, committed the offenses of larceny, forgery and uttering forged instruments with which he, Bronstein, is charged. (etc.)

'4. The Defendant Turner would testify, once removed from criminal jeopardy; * * * In substance, Turner's testimony would be that he, Turner, never imparted to Fifford any information from which Tifford could have derived knowledge of the true identity of the purported confidential consulting architects. (etc.)

'5. The Defendant Abbott would testify, once removed from criminal juopardy; * * * In substance, Abbott's testimony would be that he, Abbott, never imparted to Tifford any information from which Tifford could have derived knowledge of the true identity of the purported confidential consulting architects, * * *

'6. Unless granted a severance from the trial of the co-defendants described above, this Defendant will be unable to corroborate his version of the facts which demonstrate a lack of criminal culpability and...

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11 cases
  • Brown v. Wainwright
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • January 15, 1981
    ...1976), cert. denied, 345 So.2d 420 (Fla. 1977), and cert. denied, 431 U.S. 968, 97 S.Ct. 2926, 53 L.Ed.2d 1064 (1977); Tifford v. State, 334 So.2d 91 (Fla.3d DCA 1976), cert. denied, 344 So.2d 327 (1977).6 See Note, Multiparty Federal Habeas Corpus, 81 Harv.L.Rev. 1482, 1483 (1968).7 See id......
  • Tenneboe v. Tenneboe
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • March 14, 1990
    ... ... Needless to say, the effect of the agreement's provisions is, literally, "to force the husband from his modest economic status to a state of relative impoverishment." Satanonchai v. Satanonchai, 522 So.2d 1030 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988). See also Kanouse v. Kanouse, 549 So.2d 1035 (Fla. 4th ... ...
  • Tifford v. Wainwright, 78-1741
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • January 31, 1979
    ...Tifford raised the same misjoinder issues in his appeal, and the Florida District Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, Tifford v. State, 334 So.2d 91 (1976), but addressed only state law issues. The Supreme Court of Florida then denied Tifford's petition for a writ of certiorari. Tiffo......
  • Scheel v. State
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • October 18, 1977
    ...was essential to a presentation of the case against these defendants. See Manson v. State, 88 So.2d 272 (Fla.1956); Tifford v. State, 334 So.2d 91 (Fla.3d DCA 1976); Abbott v. State, 334 So.2d 642 (Fla.3d DCA No Florida authority for reversal is presented upon appellants' fifth point. We co......
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