Carver v. United States
164 U.S. 694 (1897)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Carver v. United States, 164 U.S. 694 (1897)

Carver v. United States

No. 588

Submitted December 15, 1896

Decided January 4, 1897

164 U.S. 694

Syllabus

In a trial for murder, if the declarations of the deceased are offered, the fact that she had received extreme unction has a tendency to show that she must have known that she was in articulo mortis, and it is no error to admit evidence of it.

Where the whole or a part of a. conversation has been put in evidence by the government on the trial of a person accused of the commission of crime, the other party is entitled to explain, vary, or contradict it.

When the dying declarations of the deceased are admitted on the trial of a person accused of the crime of murder, statements made by the deceased in apparent contradiction to those declarations are admissible.

This was a writ of error to review the conviction of the plaintiff in error for the murder of one Anna Maledon at Muskogee, in the Creek Nation of the Indian Territory. The conviction was a second one for the same offense, the first having been set aside by this Court upon the ground that improper evidence had been received of an alleged dying declaration. 160 U. S. 160 U.S. 553.

The evidence tended to show that Carver, a man about twenty-five years of age, was grossly intemperate in his habits, and upon the day the homicide took place had been drinking a mixture of hard cider and Jamaica ginger, and was so intoxicated that he could hardly walk; that deceased, who had been his mistress for several years, had agreed to meet him in the evening at a certain mill crossing in Muskogee. They met at about half-past eight, when he soon began to threaten her that he would, before daylight, kill her and one Walker, of

Page 164 U. S. 695

whom he appeared to have been jealous. He was armed with a revolver, and his conduct indicated that he was crazed with liquor. During his walk with the deceased, he met a man whom he drove off at the point of his pistol, and amused himself by firing it off at a lot of cattle, which were within range. Meeting one Crittenden, the deceased, believing that Carver was unfit to care for her and accompany her, asked Crittenden, with whom she was acquainted, to take her home. Crittenden started with them, when Carver got out his pistol again, flourished it about, and fired it off twice, once in the air and once in the ground. After walking some fifty yards or more, Carver again took out his pistol, flourished it around, and, either intentionally or accidentally, shot deceased in the back and mortally wounded her.

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