Appellant was charged by affidavit with the offense of second degree murder, tried by jury, found guilty as charged, and sentenced to the Indiana State Prison for life.
Three questions are presented for our consideration.
First: Appellant contends that the court erred in overruling his objections to certain questions propounded by the State to witnesses, police officers David Jeter and Fred Whisler. Such questions call for a recital of a conversation had with appellant when the police first entered the apartment and found him on the floor wounded and in pain. Appellant asserts that the statement made by him to these policemen was in the nature of an extrajudicial confession, therefore it was error to admit such conversation in evidence before the corpus delicti had been established by independent proof.
The evidence is undisputed that appellant called the police himself and reported the shooting; that he opened the door and admitted them to the apartment and freely and voluntarily told them what had happened.
No contention is made here that such statement or admission was not voluntarily or freely given.
The objection as shown in the motion for a new trial is: "Defendant objects: To any conversation had between officer Jeeter and the defendant because of defendants' physical condition and defendant was in a state of shock; he didn't know to whom he was talking, and he didn't know the consequences of what he was saying."
We find no merit to this objection, and particularly so since appellant himself called the police, let them into the apartment within five minutes of the call, and voluntarily told them what had happened. Under the circumstances here appellant's statement and admission to the police officers was clearly admissible. Ewbanks Indiana Criminal Law, Symmes Ed. § 392, p. 242.
Second: Appellant asserts that the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the verdict of the jury.
In examining the evidence to determine whether it is sufficient to sustain the conviction herein, and considering only that most favorable to the State, the
The police came to this witness's door and awakened him between 4:15 and 4:30 on the morning of February 7, 1955. They took him into the deceased's apartment where he saw her lying face down on a couch and was not moving nor making any sound.
This witness testified that he last saw the deceased alive at about 8:30 p.m. on February 6, 1955.
A physician who was at the time a deputy coroner testified that he received a call about 4 a.m. on February 7, 1955 to go to 164 West Ninth Street. Upon entering the apartment when he arrived there, he saw the body of a woman lying on the sofa. There were two bullet wounds evident, one in the left breast and one in the upper left abdomen. This physician further testified that the woman (deceased herein) was dead, and that she had died from gunshot wounds, and that she had been dead at least two hours when he arrived.
The testimony of this witness was supported in detail by the police officer who was working with him at the time the call was received to make the investigation at 164 West Ninth Street.
Another officer of the Indianapolis Police Department, who was a member of the Homicide Detail, was also sent to the above address to investigate a report that a man and woman had been shot. This witness supported the first officer's testimony and identified three empty cartridges which had been taken from the gun found on the floor of the apartment, and a lead slug
A deputy coroner who performed an autopsy on the body of the deceased testified that the body bore evidence of external violence and that death resulted from lethal hemorrhage in the left side of the chest and into the abdomen resulting from a "penetrating perforating gunshot wound of the chest and abdomen."
A detective in the Indianapolis Police Department who made an investigation along with the officers heretofore mentioned, also testified that appellant told the officers that he shot Miss Barbee twice and then shot himself because they had had a lover's quarrel,
The lead slug found in the couch and hereinabove mentioned was identified as having been fired from appellant's gun which was found on the floor as heretofore related.
Appellant testified that he called the telephone operator and asked her to send the police to 164 West Ninth Street that two people had been shot; and that he opened the door for the police to enter the apartment. This evidence is abundantly sufficient to sustain the verdict of the jury.
Third: Since the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction herein, the trial court did not err in overruling the appellant's motion for a directed verdict at the close of all the evidence. State v. Torphy (1940), 217 Ind. 383, 388, 28 N.E.2d 70.
The evidence is sufficient to sustain the conviction herein and appellant has failed in his burden to establish reversible error, hence the judgment of the trial court must be affirmed.
Achor, C.J., Arterburn, Emmert and Landis, JJ., concur.
NOTE. — Reported in 141 N.E.2d 921.