Appeal from Eaton, Richard Robinson, J.
T. M. Burns, P. J., and V. J. Brennan and M. F. Cavanagh, JJ. M. F. Cavanagh, J., concurred. V. J. Brennan, J. (dissenting).
1. Forgery -- Uttering and Publishing -- Elements of Offense.
The crime of uttering and publishing an instrument cannot be established without proof beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the accused knew that the instrument was false, and (2) the accused had an intent to defraud.
2. -- Evidence -- Elements of Crime -- Circumstantial Evidence -- Sufficiency of Evidence.
Circumstantial evidence is not sufficient to establish an element of a crime where the evidence is not inconsistent with any other reasonable hypotheses upon which the defendant's innocence may be maintained.
3. Forgery -- Uttering and Publishing -- Evidence -- Hypotheses of Innocence -- Sufficiency of Evidence.
The evidence in a trial for uttering and publishing a forged instrument was not inconsistent with a reasonable hypothesis of the defendant's innocence (that someone other than defendant stole a check, forged the endorsement, and passed it to defendant) where (1) the defendant sought without identification to cash a prior-endorsed check, (2) the check had a forged endorsement in the name of a payee other than the defendant, (3) there was no evidence that the check was stolen or endorsed by the defendant, and (4) the defendant never represented himself as being the payee.
4. -- Evidence -- Circumstantial Evidence -- Forgery -- Elements.
Evidence of such elements of the crime of forgery as knowledge of falsity and intent to defraud is rarely clear and convincing and often can only be proven with circumstantial evidence.
5. -- Prosecutor's Burden -- Elements of Crime -- Probative Evidence -- Reasonable Doubt.
The prosecutor's burden of proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt has not been met when there is almost a total lack of probative evidence as to the commission of an element of the crime charged.
6. -- Evidence -- Directed Verdict -- Insufficient Evidence -- Matter of Law.
Denial of a motion for a directed verdict was reversible error where the evidence produced at trial was insufficient as a matter of law to convict the defendant of the crime charged.
Dissent by V. J. Brennan, J.
7. -- Circumstantial Evidence -- Reasonable Inferences -- Sufficiency of Evidence.
Circumstantial evidence and reasonable inferences drawn therefrom can be sufficient to uphold a conviction.
8. -- Evidence -- Sufficiency of Evidence -- Appeal and Error.
A verdict is final and will not be disturbed on appeal where there is sufficient evidence presented at trial to justify the jury's verdict.
9. -- Question of Fact -- Jury Questions -- Intent to Defraud -- Knowledge of Forgery.
Evidence showing that a defendant presented a prior-endorsed check to be cashed, did not explain to the cashier that he was not the payee, and carried no identification was sufficient, in a trial for uttering and publishing a forged instrument, to present a question of fact for the jury as to whether the defendant had the ...