Friday, November 15, 2013

Morgan v. Commonwealth case brief

Morgan v. Commonwealth case brief summary
 47 S.W.2d 543 (1932)

Defendant appealed an order of the Estill Circuit Court (Kentucky) that convicted him of grand larceny.

Defendant was in charge of his employer's local office, and was given the combination to the employer's safe at that office. The employer kept a record of the combination, but would not look at the record unless defendant left his employment. Therefore, while employed, defendant was the only one with access to the employer's safe. Defendant was convicted of grand larceny when the safe was broken into and its contents emptied.


  • On appeal, defendant argued that his motion for a peremptory instruction should have been sustained because the evidence established that the offense committed was embezzlement, not larceny. 
  • The court reversed defendant's conviction. 
  • The court held that at the time of the crime, defendant had the possession, not mere custody, of the contents of the safe. 
  • Because defendant had possession of the contents of the safe, the conversion of such contents constituted an embezzlement, not larceny.

The order convicting defendant of grand larceny was reversed, and the case was remanded for a new trial.

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