Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lear v. State case brief

Lear v. State case brief summary
6 P.2d 426 (Ariz. 1931)

Defendant sought review of a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa (Arizona), which convicted him of robbery.

The prosecuting witness testified that as he opened a store, defendant entered and inquired about making a purchase. The witness had take a box of currency and a bag of silver out to the store safe and placed the currency in the cash register and silver on the counter. While the witness was unrolling the bag of silver, defendant grabbed it from the witness's hands and ran out of the store. At no time did defendant say anything to the witness, exhibit arms, or use force other than to grab the bag.


  • On appeal, the court found that there was no element of fear. 
  • Defendant made no threat or demonstration. 
  • He simply grabbed the bag of silver from the hands of the witness and ran away with it. 
  • There was no pulling or scrambling for possession of the bag. 
  • The court held that the force employed by defendant was not the kind of force necessary to constitute robbery. 
  • It was not robbery to merely snatch from the hand or person of another, or to surreptitiously take from another's pocket, money or some other thing of value. 
  • The mere taking of money by stealth from the person of another did not constitute robbery.

The court reversed the trial court's judgment and remanded for further proceedings.

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