Stephenson v. State

205 Ind. 141, 179 N.E. 633 (1932)



Whenever a blow is inflicted under circumstances to render the party inflicting it criminally responsible, if death follows, he will be held for murder or manslaughter, though the person beaten would have died from other causes, or would not have died from this one, had not others operated with it; provided, that the blow really contributed to the death as it actually took place in a degree sufficient for the law's notice.


Defendant was charged with the crime of homicide by an indictment in four counts returned by the grand jury. The defendant entered a plea of not guilty and filed a motion for a change of venue from the county. The jury returned a verdict finding defendant guilty of murder in the second degree and fixed a punishment of life in prison. Defendant appealed and filed numerous points of error, the main point being that the evidence was insufficient for conviction. On appeal, the court affirmed the judgment.


Was evidence sufficient to support the defendant's conviction?




Evidence justified the court in submitting the question to the jury, as there was evidence that the deceased died from the joint effect of the injuries inflicted on her, which through natural cause and effect contributed immediately to the death. Evidence was sufficient and justified the jury in finding that defendant, by his acts and conduct, rendered the deceased distracted and mentally irresponsible, and that there was a causal connection between the acts of defendant and the death of the victim to make defendant guilty of murder in the second degree as charged.

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