Appellant was charged by affidavit under Acts 1941, ch. 148, § 6, p. 447, being § 10-4101, Burns' 1956 Repl., with inflicting physical injury with "a deadly and dangerous weapon or instrument," while attempting to commit a robbery, tried by jury, found guilty, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Three erors are assigned here on appeal.
We shall consider these in the order named.
First: The motion to quash averred that (1) the facts stated in the amended affidavit do not constitute a public offense; and (2) the offense charged is not stated with sufficient certainty.
Section 10-4101, supra, provides, in part, as follows:
That part of the amended affidavit questioned by appellant is as follows:
Appellant contends that (1) the averment of a "deadly and dangerous weapon or instrument, the exact nature of which is to the affiant unknown," does not apprise the appellant of the character of the charge against him; (2) that this averment relates to a material element of the alleged offense; and (3) that the amended affidavit wholly fails to aver that appellant used any of the weapons described in the statute.
We concur in appellant's statement that it is the well established rule in this state that the particular crime with which the defendant is charged must be shown with such reasonable certainty, by express averments as will enable the court and jury to distinctly understand what is to be tried and determined, and to fully inform the defendant of the particular charge which he is required to meet. The averments must be so clear and distinct that there may be no difficulty in determining what evidence is admissible thereunder. Funk v. State (1898), 149 Ind. 338, 340, 49 N.E. 266; McCloskey v. State (1944), 222 Ind. 514, 518, 53 N.E.2d 1012; Madison v. State (1955), 234 Ind. 517, 130 N.E.2d 35.
However, it is likewise the well settled rule that an offense need not be charged in the exact language of the statute, but words which import the same meaning will be sufficient. Madison v. State, supra; Kistler v. State (1921), 190 Ind. 149, 152, 129 N.E. 625.
The averment here which appellant asserts is insufficient, states that the alleged physical injury was inflicted with "a deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument, the exact nature of which is to the affiant unknown." The words "deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument" are the exact words used in the statute; and this court has recently held that,
For the reasons above stated the trial court did not err in overruling the Motion to Quash, and for the same reason there was no error in overruling the motion in arrest of judgment.
Second: Appellant asserts that the verdict of the jury is contrary to law because he was of unsound mind at the time the crime was committed. He further asserts that the jury "arbitrarily rejected, ... evidence of insanity." The evidence on appellant's insanity is in conflict. An examination of the evidence most favorable to the State on this point discloses the following:
The crime charged occurred about 3:30 A.M. on April 16, 1950. Appellant was at the time employed at a filling station where he did "very good work." Appellant was arrested on April 19, 1950 and at that time the arresting officers testified that he seemed "rational" as was the case on subsequent occasions when they talked with him.
Appellant was examined by physicians on July 2, 4, 5 and 6, 1950. One of the doctors testified that appellant was afflicted with the type of cerebral dysrhythmia called epileptic equivalent, the chief characteristic of which is disturbance in behavior; that there is no set pattern of behavior of a person having seizures, but the manifestations are abnormal behavior; that such manifestations are not present at all times and when the epileptic equivalent is in remission, the person would know right from wrong, the nature of his acts and their consequences. This doctor was unable to express an opinion as to whether or not appellant was
There is no evidence as to appellant's behavior at the time of the commission of the crime. However, it appears to us that while appellant may at times have suffered from mental derangement, the jury could reasonably have found from the evidence above summarized that appellant was criminally responsible at the time the offense was committed.
It seems to us that the facts and circumstances in this case bring it clearly within the rule as quoted, with approval, in Limp v. State (1950), 228 Ind. 361, 366, 92 N.E.2d 549, as follows:
We believe there is sufficient evidence in the record from which the jury could reasonably have concluded that appellant was criminally responsible at the time the alleged offense was committed.
Third: It is further asserted that the evidence is insufficient to establish the corpus delicti. Proof of the corpus delicti means proof that the specific crime charged has actually been committed by someone. Hunt v. State (1956), 235 Ind. 276, 133 N.E.2d 48, 49, 50; Dennis v. State (1952), 230 Ind. 210, 216, 102 N.E.2d 650, 653.
Ruth Lee Mueller, a witness for the State, testified on direct examination, that on April 16, 1950, while asleep on the davenport in the living room of her apartment at 701 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, she was awakened about 3:30 in the morning by someone striking her over the head and saying at the same time, "Don't scream. I will kill you."; that the assailant struck her again and demanded money, and when she replied that she had none, he grabbed her around the shoulders and neck and dragged her into the kitchen where he again demanded money; that he again caught her around the neck, whereupon she "jumped" and ran into the bedroom where her father was asleep; and that upon examining the back door to the apartment she found the night chain broken and the door unlocked. This is sufficient evidence to establish the corpus delicti — that someone inflicted a "wound or physical injury" upon Ruth Lee [Mueller] while attempting to commit a robbery.
Esther Haggard Bicknell, a witness for the State, testified that she lived with her sister Ruth Lee [Mueller] at 701 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, and that she was in the apartment on April 16, 1950, arriving there about two o'clock in the morning; and that her sister was asleep on the davenport in the living room of the apartment.
This witness further testified that approximately fifteen minutes after she arrived home the doorbell of the apartment rang and she went to see who was at the front door; there she found a man who said he wanted to know if Ruth Lee lived there, and she replied that she did. The man further said that he had come to pick up Ruth Lee's Buick automobile. Upon telling the man that her sister did not have a car, he said he must have made a mistake and turned and walked out in the front yard where he stood and looked for a few minutes at the apartment building. The man was wearing blue coveralls. As he left he turned west on 21st Street. This witness identified the appellant herein as being the person who was at the apartment door at approximately 2:15 in the morning of April 16, 1950.
This witness further testified that she identified appellant on Saturday following the Sunday night on which her sister was attacked, and that she "picked" him out of the lineup of about ten prisoners.
Charles Dashiell, a police officer of the City of Indianapolis and a witness for the State, testified that he saw appellant herein on or about April 19, 1950, in the alley behind 1410 College Avenue, about 12:30 A.M. Appellant fitted the description of a man who had been
This testimony was supported by Detective Sergeant Gaither, also a witness for the State.
This evidence was sufficient to sustain the verdict of the jury that the appellant was the person who committed the crime charged herein.
Appellant has failed to show reversible error and the judgment of the trial court must be affirmed.
Achor, C.J., Arterburn, Emmert and Landis, JJ., concur.
NOTE. — Reported in 140 N.E.2d 104.