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A Collection of American and English Decisions
Selected for their readability

by B.A. Milburn

of the Editorial Staff of Edward Thompson Company

Evidence of Larceny of Hog


Supreme Court of Georgia, 1886.

[177 Ga. 310.]

Larceny of Hog--Sufficiency of Evidence.

  Before JUDGE JOHN T. CLARKE. Early Superior Court.

  Alex. Stevens was indicted for the larceny of a black sow-hog, which was a pet, the property of D. P. Rowland. The defendant introduced no evidence. The jury found him guilty. He moved for a new trial on the ground that the verdict was contrary to law, evidence and the charge of the court; and because the court permitted a witness for the State to testify that the owner was hunting for the bog as a stolen hog, over objection of defendant. The motion was overruled, and be excepted.

  R. H. Powell, by brief, for plaintiff in error.

  J. H. Guerry, solicitor-general, by J. H. Lumpkin, for the State.

  BLECKLEY, C. J. 1. In the house hog bones, in the garden hog-hair, hog entrails, hog meat, buried in the earth, refusal of the occupant of the premises to permit a search without legal warrant, his abrupt departure from home whilst the warrant was being procured, his flight or retreat to a point more than fifty miles distant, and his continuous absence until arrested and brought back for trial, are strongly suggestive off a suspicious intercourse on his part with some hog or other. The jury were of opinion that it was the hog described in the indictment; and as he was a near neighbor to that hog, and as it disappeared about that time and its owner went in search of it as a stolen hog, and as the hair and the meat found buried in the garden looked like the hair and most of that hog, it is highly probable that the jury were not mistaken.

  2. Complaint, is made that a witness was allowed to testify that the owner was hunting for the animal "as a stolen hog." And so he was, undoubtedly. He would not want to look in a dwelling-house or under the ground in a garden for a strayed hog; and such were the places searched. How the witness ascertained that the owner regarded it as stolen, whether from acts alone, or from declarations and acts together, does not appear; but if the prisoner or his counsel had wanted to learn this, the witness ought to have been interrogated on the sources of his knowledge. He testified as if he knew the fact somehow, and if he knew it, he could state it as explanatory of the mode and purpose of the search. He was present at the search and assisted in conducting it on the owner's behalf. Moreover, the prisoner himself was present, face to face with the owner, when the investigation began, and when steps were taken to enter upon the search with due legal authority. He could have had no doubt that the owner was looking for stolen property. Any man who inters his pork may expect the late departed hog to be hunted for as stolen, if it is hunted for at all, on his premises.

Judgment affirmed.

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