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01/06/76 PEOPLE v. FIELDS

January 6, 1976

PEOPLE
v.
FIELDS



Appeal from Genesee, Harry B. McAra, J.

Leave to appeal denied, 396 Mich 847.

N. J. Kaufman, P. J., and R. B. Burns and G. R. Deneweth,* JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. -- Jury -- Verdict of Guilty -- Appeal and Error.

A jury verdict of guilty should not be disturbed on appeal if sufficient evidence exists to sustain the verdict.

2. -- Indictment and Information -- Inconsistent Verdicts -- Rational Basis.

Michigan has adopted the rule that when two charges against a defendant are tried together, verdicts thereon will not be held inconsistent on appeal if they can be explained on any rational basis.

3. -- Jury -- Inconsistent Verdicts -- Manslaughter -- Intent.

Jury verdicts of guilty of manslaughter and of assault with intent to commit murder are not inconsistent in a case in which a single shotgun blast injured one person and killed another where, upon the proofs presented, the jury could have found that the defendant had an entirely different intent as to each of the victims.

4. -- Prosecutor's Remarks -- Preserving Question.

A defendant's contention that the prosecutor improperly commented on the defendant's failure to take the stand is not appealable where no objection to the comment was made at the trial.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Deneweth

Cyrano D. Fields was convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with intent to commit murder, and manslaughter. Defendant appeals.

On February 12, 1973 the defendant in this case and his brother, Andre, were jointly involved in an altercation in the City of Flint, Genesee County. It appears that Andre had been involved in a quarrel with one Samuel Curry concerning certain loans which had been made to him by Curry. Curry and one Jackie Terry had met with Andre at sometime previous to the incident in question, in fact, earlier that same day, in which an argument ensued. Andre then returned home, recruited his brother, the defendant Cyrano Fields, picked up a sawed-off shotgun and returned to the scene of the altercation with the defendant who was armed with a pistol. The two brothers, Andre Fields and the defendant, then went to the Davis Food Center in Flint where they met Curry and Terry. The argument continued where it had left off earlier and the brothers urged Curry to step outside. It appears that the defendant pointed his pistol at Curry, asking him if he was "ready to die", then struck Curry with the pistol, and following this, shot him. At this point Terry attempted to intervene whereupon he was killed by a blast from the sawed-off shotgun carried and fired by Andre. A bystander, Gregory Spotsville, was also hit by shotgun pellets from the blast which killed Terry. It appears that prior to the blast being fired, Andre Fields had warned Spotsville to step aside, Spotsville failed to do so, Andre fired anyway, killing Terry and seriously wounding Spotsville. After the shooting occurred the defendant and his brother Andre left the store, the defendant firing his pistol to cover the retreat, at least one of the shots hitting the body of Terry. The defendant was arrested and was charged with the following crimes: (1) assault with intent to murder Curry; (2) aiding and abetting the crime of assault with intent to commit murder on Spotsville; and (3) aiding and abetting in the second-degree murder of Terry. The three cases were consolidated and tried as one ...


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