Bennettv.State

Supreme Court of ArkansasJan 21, 1974
255 Ark. 887 (Ark. 1974)
255 Ark. 887503 S.W.2d 908

No. CR 73-142.

Opinion delivered January 21, 1974

HOMICIDE — TRIAL — DECEDENT'S IDENTITY, ADMISSIBILITY OF PHOTOGRAPH TO ESTABLISH. — A photograph of decedents face taken by the doctor who performed the autopsy was properly admitted in evidence where the doctor could not positively identify decedent by name and the photograph was used to enable another witness to identify the dead body as that of decedent.

Appeal from Pulaski Circuit Court, First Division, William J. Kirby, Judge; affirmed.

Harold L. Hall, for appellant.

Jim Guy Tucker, Atty. Gen., by: O. H. Hargraves, Dep. Atty. Gen., for appellee.


In appealing from a conviction and 21-year sentence for murder in the second degree, the appellant contends only that the State should not have been allowed to introduce a photograph of the decedent's face, taken by the doctor who performed an autopsy to establish the cause of death. The photograph was clearly relevant. The doctor could not positively identify the decedent by name; so the photograph was used to enable another witness to identify the dead body as that of the decedent. It is now argued that the defense did not question the decedents identity, but even so the State had the burden of proving that fact beyond a reasonable doubt. We may add that there is nothing about the photograph that can fairly be said to be of a gruesome or inflammatory nature.

Affirmed.

HARRIS, C.J., not participating.