Murder. Appeal from the district court at Newton County; penalty, life imprisonment. Hon. Joe J. Fisher, Judge Presiding.
Charles F. Mitchell and Clyde W. Woody, Houston, for appellant.
D. O. Bacon, District Attorney, Newton, and Leon Douglas, State's Attorney, Austin, for the state.
[ 165 Tex. Crim. Page 457]
The offense is murder; the punishment, life.
The deceased, Fred Bourghs, lived in a three-room house in the northern part of Sabine County, his nearest neighbor's home being about a mile away. Mr. Bourghs was about 80 years old.
On August 25, 1954, the bloody and battered body of Mr. Bourghs was found in his home, and the medical testimony was that he had been dead for some eighteen hours.
The evidence shows beyond question that multiple blows inflicted with some character of blunt instrument had crushed the head of Mr. Bourghs and caused his death.
That the deceased was murdered by someone is not seriously questioned. In fact witnesses were permitted to testify without objection that he was murdered.
To connect appellant with the murder, the state relied upon a statement in writing offered as the voluntary confession of appellant made and signed while he was under arrest some seventeen months after the murder.
When the confession was identified and shown to have been signed by appellant after the statutory warning, and after the officer to whom it was made had testified that he was sure that there was no persuasion, no undue influence, no promises and no force of any nature used on appellant to induce the statement it was offered in evidence.
Appellant objected and requested that he be permitted in the absence of the jury to develop the surrounding facts in order that the court might determine the inadmissibility of the confession as a matter of law, but the trial court declined the request and permitted the confession to be introduced.
Before the confession was read to the jury appellant's counsel stated their position as being that the confession was not freely and voluntarily made and was inadmissible as a matter of law, and ...