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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
PRATHER v. THE STATE.
43022.
BELL, Presiding Judge.
Receiving stolen goods. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Boykin, Emeritus.
1. Knowledge that goods are stolen is an essential element of the crime of receiving stolen goods. Sanford v. State, 4 Ga. App. 449 (61 SE 741). Where one admits buying and receiving goods shown by undisputed evidence to have been stolen, the burden is still upon the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the transaction occurred with guilty knowledge on the part of the accused. Chambers v. State, 94 Ga. App. 531 (95 SE2d 326); McGill v. State, 106 Ga. App. 482, 483 (127 SE2d 332). In most cases scienter is not susceptible of direct proof. "Circumstances may convict of the defendant's knowledge, as well as actual and direct proof. . . The circumstances, the time, the secrecy, all the transactions before, at the time and afterwards, may he brought to hear upon what was the knowledge of the receiver. . . Knowledge may well be deduced from conduct and behavior, the character of the person from whom received, and the kind of goods." Cobb v. State, 76 Ga. 664, 666. See also Licette v. State, 75 Ga. 253, 257; Waldrop v. State, 47 Ga. App. 849, 853 (171 SE 840); Hardy v. State, 100 Ga. App. 88 (1) (110 SE2d 82). Here, the defendant's flight is one of numerous circumstances tending to establish his consciousness of guilt. See Brooks v. State, 98 Ga. App. 13,15 (104 SE2d 620).
The evidence, though circumstantial, was sufficient to authorize defendant's conviction of knowingly receiving stolen goods.
2. The record shows that defendant was shot by the arresting officers and taken directly to the hospital where he remained for medical treatment until after indictment. Under these circumstances no commitment hearing was necessary. Cannon v. Grimes, 223 Ga. 35 (153 SE2d 445).
4. The first ground of the enumeration is moot. See Prather v. State, 223 Ga. 431 (155 SE2d 862).
Defendant was indicted for larceny of an automobile in Count 1 of the indictment; and in Count 2 he was indicted for knowingly receiving stolen goods (the same automobile), stolen by a person unknown to the grand jurors. On the trial the jury acquitted defendant of the larceny charge and convicted him of the offense of receiving stolen goods.
The evidence showed that on the morning of June 25, 1966, defendant and a companion went to a used car lot operated by John Smith Company in Atlanta and looked at cars on display including a maroon 1963 Ford Galaxie two-door sport coupe bearing the serial number 3A 66Z 188570 and having no license tag. After defendant and his companion had departed, the manager of the company's used car operation discovered that the 1963 Ford, which had been parked on the lot with keys in the ignition switch, was missing. On August 20, 1966, while driving a 1963 Ford of the same color and body style as the missing car, defendant collided with another automobile. The identification plate on the door facing of the wrecked Ford had been removed, but another identification plate affixed to the firewall identified the vehicle as the missing car. It bore a 1966 Georgia license tag which defendant had purchased on June 30, 1966, representing on the tag application that the serial number of the vehicle was 2U 62Z 11441 and that he had purchased it from Dandy Service Company. Defendant's wife testified that she had accompanied defendant to "a place that sells cars" to buy the ear but that she was unable to identify the name or location of the dealer. Defendant testified that he bought the ear from two men on Moreland Avenue but did not know their names and was unable to locate them although he dickered with them "two or three" days before buying the car, that he had had a bill of sale showing he bought the car from Dandy Service Company, and that he had been unable to find the bill of sale since the collision. Police officers testified that they had been unable to locate a dealer operating in Atlanta as "Dandy Service Company." On September 6, 1966, when accosted by police officers who advised defendant they had a warrant for his arrest for automobile larceny, defendant ran until brought down by police gunfire.
Lewis R. Slaton, Solicitor General, J. Walter LeCraw, Paul Ginsberg, Amber W. Anderson, for appellee.
Howard Moore, Jr., for appellant.
SUBMITTED SEPTEMBER 7, 1967 -- DECIDED NOVEMBER 20, 1967.
Friday May 22 19:35 EDT


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