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Loveland v. State

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 30, 1939

EDDIE LOVELAND and KATHRYN LOVELAND, Appellants,
v.
STATE OF ARIZONA, Respondent

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. M. T. Phelps, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. John C. Lee and Mr. John W. Ray, for Appellants.

Mr. Joe Conway, Attorney General, and Mr. W. E. Polley, Assistant Attorney General, for the State.

OPINION

[53 Ariz. 132] NILES, Superior Judge.

The appellants, Eddie Loveland and Kathryn Loveland, were convicted in the superior court of Maricopa county by the verdict of a jury of the offense of contributing to the delinquency of Dora Ragsdale, a female child of the age of fourteen years. Woodrow Morton, charged jointly with the said appellants with the same offense, entered a plea of guilty. This appeal is from the judgment pronounced upon the verdict against the appellants.

The charging part of the information is in the following language:

"The said Eddie Loveland, Kathryn Loveland and Daniel Woodrow Morton on or about the 24th day of September, 1938, and before the filing of this information at and in the County of Maricopa, State of Arizona, and while in the company of one Dora Ragsdale, a minor of the age of fourteen years, did then and there wilfully and unlawfully furnish to and cause her, the said Dora

Page 943

Ragsdale, to drink and consume intoxicating liquors to the extent of causing her, the said Dora Ragsdale, to become intoxicated, all of [53 Ariz. 133] which acts will cause and encourage the said Dora Ragsdale to grow up to live an idle, dissolute and immoral life."

The judgment of conviction is attacked upon seven different grounds. A discussion of four of these assignments will necessarily embrace and dispose of all points urged on appeal.

It is first urged, since chapter 91, Laws of the Regular Session 1933, provides that

"Any person who shall by any act, cause, encourage or contribute to the dependency or delinquency of a child, as these terms with reference to children are defined by the preceding section, or who shall for any cause be responsible therefor, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon trial and conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed three hundred and fifty dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment" (Section 2),

that the superior court does not have original jurisdiction and that the information was void because a preliminary hearing was not held.

The same question was presented to this court in the case of Adams v. Stanford, Judge, Superior Court, etc., 19 Ariz. 237, 240, 168 P. 641, 642, and after considering section 6, article 6 of the Arizona Constitution and the Code provisions carrying it into effect, the issue was disposed of in the following language: "Therefore, superior courts have jurisdiction over every misdemeanor when the same is prosecuted by indictment or information presented to such court."

It is next contended that the trial court erred in rejecting evidence offered by the defense to prove that Dora Ragsdale was in an intoxicated condition when she came to the home of the Lovelands on the 24th [53 Ariz. 134] day of September, 1938, and that such condition was caused by someone other than the appellants. This we feel is without merit since a violation of the same law by another or others on the same day or at any other time could not be accepted as an excuse or in mitigation of the offense charged to the Lovelands. An examination of the record also discloses that no attempt was made on the part of the defense to preserve this point for the consideration of this court by a proper offer of proof. Collins v. State, 37 Ariz. 353, 294 P. 625; Riley v. State, 50 Ariz. 442, 73 P.2d 96.

Appellants further contend that the court erred in instructing the jury that if they believed from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants committed any act calculated to cause delinquency they should find the appellants guilty of the offense charged. In the first place we are not willing to agree, in view of the discussion following, that the instruction is erroneous in form or substance, but feel that the assignment can be more expeditiously disposed of by a reference to ...


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