Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stowell v. People case brief

Stowell v. People case brief summary
90 P.2d 520 (1939)

Defendant appealed his conviction for burglary, a violation of Colo. Stat. Ann. ch. 48, § 82 (1935), from the District Court of Lincoln County (Colorado).

The information charging defendant alleged that he entered his employer's warehouse by force. The evidence showed that defendant was a freight conductor who was supplied with a switch key that opened all switches and all depot and freight room doors on his division. No regulations governed the use of the key. Defendant used the key to gain access to the warehouse. Defendant was convicted of burglary for entering the warehouse and taking items worth $ 10. He was sentenced to a term of three to seven years in the penitentiary.


  • On appeal, the court reversed the conviction. 
  • The court held that the facts established no greater offense than petit larceny because defendant had a right to enter the warehouse at the time and manner in which he did, provided that his intent was lawful. 
  • The court held that defendant's motion for an instructed verdict should have been sustained.

The court reversed defendant's conviction.

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