BUSSEY, Presiding Judge:
J.R. Allison, the appellant in this case, was employed as the Director of Food Services for Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma from 1970 until 1977. He was charged by information with four counts of embezzlement of Cameron University and Oklahoma state funds, services and goods, on September 23, 1980. The embezzlement allegedly occurred between 1971 and 1975.
Of the four counts, the appellant was convicted of two: count one (I), which
Due to the fact that the appellant was acquitted of the charges made in counts II and III, we shall not discuss the facts adduced at trial in support thereof, except as becomes necessary in disposition of the appellant's assignments of error.
In support of count I of the information, numerous witnesses who were employees of the Cameron University Food Services Department between 1971 and 1975, including the person whose services were embezzled, testified that the appellant, as Director of Food Services, was charged with overseeing the activities and labor of all food service employees; that in his position as Food Services Director, the appellant hired Aggie McIntosh as a food services employee under the title "salad cook"; that Ms. McIntosh clocked her daily time in and out at the cafeteria at Cameron in the Food Services Division; that Ms. McIntosh's check was drawn by the State of Oklahoma; and that Ms. McIntosh never performed work at the Cameron University Cafeteria, but instead spent all her time performing household work, laundry and other maid services two days per week for the appellant.
Evidence adduced in support of count IV was that the appellant was instrumental in initiating and establishing a catering service at Cameron University; that from 1971 until 1973, he had sole control and responsibility for organizing, coordinating and collecting the proceeds from the catering functions; that he often told those to whom the Cameron Food Services had catered to pay him in cash or to make checks payable to him personally; that the appellant either received these payments personally, or had them mailed to a post office box to which he had the only key; that the catering service catered anywhere from two to four functions per week, nine months out of the year; that the appellant turned in very few invoices to the Cameron Food Services Department; that in April 1973 a bookkeeper/secretary became suspicious that the appellant was embezzling the catering money and so informed the Cameron University business manager, Mr. Ed Meese; that Mr. Meese contacted the appellant concerning the matter and arranged an appointment to discuss it with him; that the appellant ordered his bookkeeper/secretary to bring to his office all the copies of invoices, bills and papers concerning the catering services that she had; that the same bookkeeper/secretary saw the appellant leaving with a trash bag containing paper approximately thirty minutes after she had delivered the requested documents to him; that the appellant dumped a plastic trash bag containing the requested documents into his garbage can outside his home; that the bookkeeper/secretary who had become suspicious of the appellant retrieved the bag and its contents from the appellant's garbage can; that three bookkeepers/secretaries went through the invoices and totalled the amount of the invoices and the totalled amount was approximately $4,000; that these invoices were turned over to Mr. Meese; that Mr. Meese directed a bookkeeper/secretary to take the invoices to the cashier's office and match them with receipts for money paid to Cameron; that no such receipts could be found; that Dr. Don Owens, the President of Cameron University at that time was also made aware of the appellant's activities; that the appellant was required by Dr. Owens to begin making restitution to
Although most of the invoices concerning the catering activities during the period from 1971 until 1973 were destroyed by the appellant, the State produced an invoice for catering functions by Cameron University, charged to "Ducks Unlimited," dated October 9, 1972. The invoice was written in the appellant's handwriting, and was for the amount of three-hundred twenty-one dollars ($321.00). The State also produced two checks drawn by Ducks Unlimited, dated October 11, 1972. One check was payable to the order of appellant in the amount of one-hundred twenty-one dollars ($121.00). It had been endorsed on the back by the appellant. The other check was drawn payable to the order of "Cameron College Food Services" in the amount of two-hundred dollars ($200.00). That check was endorsed in the appellant's handwriting. The bookkeeper charged with receiving deposit receipts for food services testified that neither of the checks was deposited.
The appellant's first allegation of error is that the trial court erroneously overruled his motion to quash the information. He alleges the information contained four separate, distinct and independent crimes; which were improperly joined.
The appellant's argument is based upon 22 O.S. 1981, § 404, which statute we have held to be repealed by implication by the enactment of 22 O.S. 1981, §§ 436 and 440. State v. Lowe, 627 P.2d 442 (Okl.Cr. 1981), and cases cited therein.
We are convinced the State was correct in joining all four counts against the appellant in the single information.
Title 22 O.S. § 436 expressly authorizes the joinder of counts against a defendant if the counts involve the same series of acts or transactions constituting an offense or offenses. Also, in a case similar to the present, this Court urged prosecutors to try as many embezzlement charges stemming from a single transaction or series of transactions as possible. See, DeLaune v. State, 569 P.2d 463 (Okl.Cr. 1977).
In this case, it is apparent that much of the evidence presented in support of the different counts was to overlap. All four counts alleged occurred during the same period of time; were embezzled from the same institution; and involved the same entrustment. Nearly all the State's witnesses testified concerning each count of the information. A severance of the counts was not necessary in this case, and would have resulted in a considerable waste of judicial resources.
Since the appellant reurges the above argument in support of his eighth contention that the jury was improperly instructed; and presents no further argument or case authority, we deem our disposition of the first allegation dispositive of the eighth as well. There was no error.
The appellant maintains in his second assignment of error that the trial court erred in overruling his demurrer to the amended information. He argues that count I was demurrable because it failed to state the essential elements that the appellant's acts were committed while he was employed as the food services director of Cameron University; that he was entrusted with the labor of Aggie McIntosh due to his employment; and that due to this employment of trust, Ms. McIntosh's services were embezzled.
It is my view that, read as a whole, the information was sufficient.
I also believe Gibson v. State, 328 P.2d 718 (Okl.Cr. 1958), cited by the appellant and my colleagues, infra at p. ____, is not controlling. The defendant's conviction was reversed in Gibson because the solitary count in the information failed to allege his position of trust and employment. Thus, in Gibson, it was impossible to ascertain what was intended by the information. Such is not the present case.
Although I would affirm the judgment of guilt and the sentence imposed in count I, my colleagues' opinion, infra, requires that this count be REVERSED.
The appellant's third allegation of error is that the prosecution of this case was barred by the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations controlling in this case is set forth in 22 O.S. 1981, § 152:
The appellant argues that the State failed to properly plead and prove that the money and services of which he was charged and convicted of embezzling were the property of the State of Oklahoma. According to the appellant's theory, this should have resulted in the application of the three-year time limitation upon prosecution, as opposed to the seven-year provision of the above statute, upon which the State relied. The appellant concludes that, under the terms of Section 152, the three year period began running at the commission of the crime, and had run prior to the filing of the information in this case.
The State expressly alleged in count I of the information that the services of Aggie McIntosh were State property. (See Appendix A, Count I) Furthermore, evidence produced at trial adequately supported the State's allegation. Ms. McIntosh testified at trial that she was hired by the Food Services Department of Cameron University; that she clocked in and out at the time clocks located in the Food Services Department of Cameron University; that she did not work in the Food Services Department there, but instead went to the appellant's home two days per week to perform housework, laundry, and other "maid" services; and that her paycheck was drawn by the State of Oklahoma. We are convinced that the seven-year statute of limitations provided by 22 O.S. 1981, § 152, for the embezzlement of State property was applicable to count I.
We also hold that the seven-year statute of limitations was applicable in count IV. Although the information is not worded as artfully as it might have been, it is clear that the appellant was charged with the embezzlement of State property in that count. Cameron University is a state
To support his argument that the State nonetheless failed to prove that the catering funds the appellant embezzled were State property, the appellant directs our attention to two excerpts from the trial transcript. The first is the testimony of Mr. Jerrell Chesney, the executive officer for the Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University A & M colleges; who was called as a witness by the State. The second is that of Dr. Don Owen, the President of Cameron University at the time of the appellant's embezzlement (who was also charged in this matter); who testified for the appellant.
We have thoroughly reviewed the testimony of both men, and are convinced that the money embezzled from the catering fund indeed belonged to the State. The fact that the catering funds were not derived from tax or bond revenues, nor were they appropriated by the legislature does not mean that they were not State property. It is beyond question that taxes, bonds and appropriations are not the sole sources of revenue used in support of state institutions, such as colleges and universities. We conclude that the State adequately proved that the catering funds accumulated by, earmarked for and applied in support of the Food Services Division of Cameron University constituted state property.
The additional problem arises that even when we apply the seven-year statute of limitations to the charges made in count IV of the information, the prosecution on these charges was not commenced until a period of seven years and five months after discovery of the crime.
Without more, it would appear that the statute of limitations had run on the prosecution of the appellant on count IV. However, when the appellant's employment with Cameron University terminated in December of 1977, he obtained employment and took up residence in New Mexico in early January of 1978. He was living there at the time of his trial.
Thus, when the appellant left Oklahoma in 1977, the statute of limitations was tolled. See, 22 O.S. 1981, § 153.
The appellant contends that Section 153 applies only to persons who are out of state at the time of the commission of an offense, and that it does not apply to one who was within the state at the time of the commission of an offense. He relies upon the construction of a similar statute by the Supreme Court of Montana. See, State v. Clemens, 40 Mont. 567, 107 P. 896 (1910).
This Court expressly disapproved of the Montana court's construction in that case in Crain v. State, 70 Okl.Cr. 45, 104 P.2d 450 (1940), wherein the construction of the statute given in Coleman v. Territory, 5 Okl. 201, 47 P. 1079 (1897) was reiterated:
This construction and application of Section 153 is clearly applicable in the present case. The statute of limitations began to run in April of 1973 upon discovery of the embezzlement. The statute ran until December 1977 or January 1978, when it was tolled by the appellant's departure from State of Oklahoma and establishment of residence in New Mexico. The filing of the information in September 1980 was well within the time limits. See also, Thompson v. State, 96 Okl.Cr. 8, 247 P.2d 535 (1952).
The appellant's embezzlement of the services of Ms. McIntosh occurred over a three year period from 1972 until 1975. Although the embezzlement of her labor was known from the beginning, we find that the statute of limitations did not run on Count I for the reasons discussed above.
The appellant's special demurrer to the information based on the statute of limitations was properly overruled.
In the appellant's fourth assignment of error, he complains that approximately two-hundred fifty (250) exhibits were improperly introduced into evidence by the State, because they were not individually identified and authenticated.
All but three of the documents complained of were introduced in support of count II of the information, which alleged the appellant embezzled funds from a coffee fund. The appellant was acquitted on that count.
Only State's exhibits 250-252 are appropriate for our review. These exhibits consisted of copies of the "Ducks Unlimited" invoices and checks discussed above. The witness properly identified the invoices and the appellant's handwriting on them. Additionally, the appellant himself identified the invoices, checks and his handwriting thereon. There was no error.
The appellant's fifth assignment of error is that evidence of other crimes was impermissibly introduced into evidence.
The evidence of which the appellant complains consisted of the following testimony:
Pursuant to the appellant's objection to the testimony concerning the sale of any equipment, the trial court instructed the jury that the appellant was not charged with any wrongdoing associated with the sale of any equipment, and that they were to draw no inferences therefrom. The trial court further asked the jurors to respond whether they could indeed disregard any reference to equipment sold. The entire panel answered in the affirmative. We are convinced that, if any error occurred, it was cured by the trial court's admonishment. See, Willis v. State, 650 P.2d 873 (Okl.Cr. 1982).
The appellant's sixth assignment of error is that the trial court erred in failing to exclude the Comanche County District Attorney, Mr. Dick Tannery, from the courtroom upon the appellant's motion.
It was discovered during voir dire that one of the veniremen had an attorney-client relationship with Mr. Tannery five years prior to the appellant's trial. Upon discovery of this relationship, the Assistant District Attorney who tried the case, Mr. Robert Perrine, stated that Mr. Tannery would not be trying the case. The venireman was ultimately impaneled on the jury.
Subsequently, on the second day of trial, Mr. Tannery sat at the prosecution's table with Mr. Perrine. With the exception that he may have arranged a few exhibits at the prosecution's table, Mr. Tannery did not participate in the appellant's trial. Nonetheless, the appellant complains that Mr. Perrine misled him concerning this matter. He further alleges that, had he known Mr. Tannery would be present at trial, he would have removed the juror from the venire panel.
We do not agree that Mr. Perrine either deliberately or inadvertently misled the appellant concerning Mr. Tannery's participation at trial. Mr. Tannery did not participate in the trial, and we fail to see that his mere presence at the prosecution's table prejudiced the appellant. See generally, Bias v. State, 561 P.2d 523 (Okl.Cr. 1977). Moreover, the case authority cited by the appellant is totally inapplicable to the case at hand. (See, Williams v. State, 658 P.2d 499 (Okl.Cr. 1983)). This assignment of error is without merit.
The appellant's seventh and eighth assignments of error concern matters related to his defense to count IV of the information.
According to the appellant, Mr. Meese and he had reached an agreement prior to April 1973 wherein the appellant was to receive ten percent of the receipts of the catering services as compensation for the appellant's overtime work caused by the catering service. Dr. Owen was informed of this arrangement at a meeting held between himself, the appellant and Mr. Meese. Dr. Owen ordered the appellant to reimburse the University for the money taken, because it was contrary to University policy.
The appellant's motion in limine to exclude any statements made by Mr. Meese from the prosecution's case was sustained, because Mr. Meese was dead, and his statements would constitute inadmissible hearsay. At the close of the State's case in chief, the State made a similar motion in limine, which was also sustained.
The appellant now argues that the statements Mr. Meese made during the meeting with the appellant and Dr. Owen should have been admitted into evidence under 12 O.S. 1981, § 2804(B)(3), because Mr. Meese's statements were made against his own pecuniary or proprietary interests.
We need only note that although the trial court refused to let either the appellant or Dr. Owen testify concerning the content of the conversation, the information was subsequently brought out through examination of another witness by the appellant. Thus, the jury was informed of the agreement the appellant alleged to have existed between himself and the deceased, Mr. Meese. This assignment of error is without merit.
In support of his contention, the appellant cites two cases which contain general language to the effect that when an agent, servant or bailee does with property only what he is authorized to do by the terms of his employment and has no felonious intent, he is not guilty of embezzlement. See, Wyatt v. State, 21 Okl.Cr. 121, 205 P. 194 (1922); Logan v. State, 493 P.2d 842 (Okl.Cr. 1972).
We are convinced that the instruction on intent given by the trial court adequately addressed the appellant's defense.
The appellant's tenth assignment of error is in the form of a motion for new trial, in which he alleges he was deprived of his right to trial by an impartial jury as guaranteed by Okla. Const. Art. II, § 20. The appellant complains that during voir dire examination, he was not informed that a venireman and ultimate juror, Mr. Gregory Hamilton, was the son-in-law of a person who had been employed by the Comanche County District Attorney's office the summer prior to the appellant's trial.
This cause was remanded for an evidentiary hearing on the matter on the 25th day of March, 1983, by this Court. The following information was adduced at that hearing:
1) The juror's mother-in-law, Ms. Alberta Allen, a/k/a Pat Allen, was employed by the Comanche County District Attorney's office from July 13, 1981 until August 21, 1981. Ms. Allen performed legal research for the District Attorney, but had no knowledge of this case at that time. The juror had knowledge of Ms. Allen's employment at the Comanche County District Attorney's office, but had no knowledge of the capacity in which she was employed. Ms. Allen's employment terminated so she could attend law school at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
2) Ms. Allen again obtained employment with the Comanche County District Attorney's office in May of 1982, subsequent to the date of the appellant's trial. No written application for employment was filed by Ms. Allen, and she could not recall whether she had made oral application for the position prior or subsequent to the appellant's trial. The juror had no knowledge that Ms. Allen was to be employed by the Comanche County District Attorney's office in the summer of 1982, at the time of the appellant's trial.
3) Numerous telephone calls were made between the juror's home and Ms. Allen's apartment in Norman throughout the period during which the appellant's trial was held.
4) The juror testified that the fact that his mother-in-law had previously been employed by the Comanche County District Attorney's office had no bearing whatsoever on his decision in the appellant's case. (Transcript Ev. Hearing p. 23).
The appellant maintains that the relationship between the juror and Ms. Allen should have been brought to light by the juror in response to questions propounded the venire panel by either himself or the trial court.
We addressed a similar issue in Manuel v. State, 541 P.2d 233 (Okl.Cr. 1975). In that case, the defendant learned that one of the jury members was the husband of the District Attorney's secretary after the jury had begun deliberations in the case. We noted in Manuel that the record supported no implication that the juror was biased, hence no actual prejudice was demonstrated by the defendant. Nonetheless, we found that the fact that the juror was married to the District Attorney's secretary "... approached being a basis for challenge for cause." We therefore felt constrained to reverse that case and remand it for a new trial.
The present case differs from Manuel and Thompson (supra, footnote 8). Under the circumstances peculiar to this case, we believe that, had the juror's relationship to Ms. Allen, and Ms. Allen's relationship to the Comanche County District Attorney's office been known, no basis for a challenge for cause under 22 O.S. 1981, § 660, or prior case law, would have been present. Furthermore,
The circumstances in the present case reflect a far more attenuated relationship between the prosecution and the juror than that which existed in either Manuel or Thompson. Ms. Allen had terminated her employment with the District Attorney's office at least seven months prior to the appellant's trial. She had gained no knowledge of the appellant's case by virtue of her employment. No communication was had between the juror and Ms. Allen concerning the appellant's trial during the time the juror sat on the appellant's jury. The juror was not aware of Ms. Allen's pending re-employment (if, indeed it was pending at that time) with the District Attorney's office.
Thus, the issue is reduced to the following: in light of the fact that the trial court would not have been required, under the circumstances of this case, to dismiss Mr. Hamilton for cause; nor did Mr. Hamilton's situation "approach being a basis for cause" Manuel, supra; and in the absence of any demonstration of prejudice otherwise resulting, is the assertion by the appellant that he would have exercised a peremptory challenge to remove the juror, had he known before trial what he now knows, sufficient cause to mandate reversal of this case?
We think not.
We realize that the established rule is that all doubts regarding juror impartiality must be resolved in favor of the accused. Manuel, supra; Scrivener v. State, 63 Okl.Cr. 418, 75 P.2d 1154 (1938). However, in this case there is no doubt. The juror stated at the evidentiary hearing that his mother-in-law's brief period of employment with the District Attorney seven months prior to the appellant's trial did not affect him as a juror. Review of the transcript of the voir dire reveals that the appellant's attorney extensively examined the juror concerning his ability to sit as an impartial juror. (See Appendix B). There is no evidence in the record which would lead us to believe that the appellant was prejudiced by the fact that Mr. Hamilton sat on his jury. See generally, Jones v. State, 555 P.2d 63 (Okl.Cr. 1976).
The appellant's Motion for New Trial Upon Newly Discovered Evidence is overruled.
The judgment and sentence in count I is REVERSED, and the judgment and sentence in count IV is AFFIRMED.
CORNISH and BRETT, JJ., specially concur.
The amended information alleged that between the years 1971-1975, the appellant did:
CORNISH, Judge, specially concurring:
While I concur in the affirmance of the judgment and sentence in Count IV, I am authorized to announce that Judge Brett concurs with me in reversing Count I for the following reasons:
Count I of the Information herein falls short in these essentials. It provides simply:
The Information is deficient of facts showing the accused is an official or agent of the university. I do not agree that this essential element can be garnered from the allegations of the other counts within the Information. This Court has not addressed this specific issue previously. But, it is a well established fact that to be sufficient, a criminal information must allege every element of the offense charged. E.g., In re D.S.H., 549 P.2d 826 (Okl.Cr. 1976). While 22 O.S. 1981, § 409 provides that more than one offense may be charged in one information, there is no authority to bolster one count by the allegations contained in another count within the same information. Those courts which have addressed this specific issue have disallowed such interpretation unless there has been incorporation by specific reference to the allegations of another count. See 41 AM.JUR.2d Indictments and Informations, § 221 (1968) wherein it is noted:
The author has reviewed the cases cited in support of this passage, and has found they establish the rule described. In People v. Moore, 200 Colo. 481, 615 P.2d 726 (1980), the Colorado Supreme Court cited this portion of American Jurisprudence in support of their holding that each count of an Information must be complete of itself and independent of the other counts. See also Martinez v. People, 163 Colo. 503, 431 P.2d 765 (1967); Turner v. State, 242 Md. 408, 219 A.2d 39 (1966); and, State v. Sutton, 14 N.C. App. 422, 188 S.E.2d 596 (1972).
We would therefore hold that the demurrer to Count I should have been sustained.
In a prosecution for the offenses charged in the Information in this case, the felonious intent on the part of the defendant to commit a crime as alleged in the Information is an essential ingredient of the crime charged and a material fact which must be proved to your satisfaction by legal and competent evidence beyond a reasonable doubt before you can convict the defendant. Such intent, however, is a question of fact to be determined by the jury from all the facts and circumstances in evidence before you.
The juror stated at the evidentiary hearing that he did not volunteer any information because he did not know any persons "presently" employed by the Comanche County District Attorney's office; and that he did not interpret the questions asked the jury panel as referring to past employees.