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Collins v. State

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 23, 1930

LEONARD COLLINS, Appellant,
v.
STATE, Respondent

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Yuma. Fred L. Ingraham, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. W. F. Timmons and Mr. J. Fred Hoover, for Appellant.

Mr. K. Berry Peterson, Attorney General, Mr. Riney B. Salmon, Assistant Attorney General, and Mr. H. H. Baker, County Attorney, for the State.

OPINION

Page 626

[37 Ariz. 354] ROSS, J.

By information, the county attorney accused defendant and one Charles Antone of the crime of murder, the offense being described as follows:

"The said Charles Antone and Leonard Collins on or about the 20th day of Oct. 1929, and before the filing of this information, at, and in the county of Yuma, State of Arizona, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously, deliberately and with premeditation and malice aforethought, kill and murder one Henry Cornell, a human being. . . ."

Defendant Collins demanded a severance, and was tried alone. From a verdict and sentence of manslaughter, he prosecutes this appeal.

[37 Ariz. 355] He first claims that the information is insufficient, in that it fails to state the means employed by defendant to kill and murder deceased, or the kind and character of the wounds inflicted, or that the wounds were mortal.

"Whatever the rule in this regard may be in other jurisdictions it is at rest here. The indictment or information is not bad in failing to describe the means employed to effect death, or in failing to describe the wounds causing death. Molina v. Territory, 12 Ariz. 14, 95 P. 102; People v. Suesser, 142 Cal. 354, 75 P. 1093. We early adopted the California criminal procedure and the construction placed thereon by that state's courts." Azbill v. State, 19 Ariz. 499, 172 P. 658, 659. See, also, Marquez v. Territory, 13 Ariz. 135, 108 P. 258.

Defendant contends the corpus delicti was not proved.

"In felonious homicide the corpus delicti consists of two elements: First, the fact of death, as the result; second, facts and circumstances showing the criminal agency of the person charged with the crime, as the means." Edwards v. Territory, 8 Ariz. 342, 76 P. 458, 460.

The evidence on this point is as follows: Defendant Collins, Charles Antone and the deceased, Henry Cornell, Yuma Indians, came together on the streets of the city of Yuma some time in the forenoon of October 19, 1929. Before Collins joined the other two, the latter had been drinking denatured alcohol, had consumed perhaps a half bottle. After Collins joined the defendant and Antone, the three of them drank about two and one-half bottles of the stuff. (The capacity of these bottles is not shown by the evidence.) The place selected by them for their carousal was an isolated spot on a slough of the Colorado River, well shielded from view by rank growth of weeds and willows. It was not far from [37 Ariz. 356] the Southern Pacific depot, 150 to 200 yards east. All was well and peaceful during the time (some four hours) it took to consume the ...


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