People v. Bowen
Michigan Court of Appeals
158 N.W.2d 794 (1968)
Bowen and Rouse (defendants) parked their car in front of an elderly woman’s house late at night and entered the house with the owner’s permission. Bowen was a handyman who had been in the house with helpers many times in the past. A neighbor called the police because of the neighbor’s suspicion that Bowen and Rouse were stealing the elderly woman’s possessions while in the house. When the police arrived, the elderly woman’s bedroom was in disarray, which provided suspicion enough for the police to order Bowen and Rouse to sit in the living room of the house. The police found two of the elderly woman’s rings by where Rouse was sitting in the living room and also found one of the elderly woman’s necklaces on the staircase that ran from the bedroom to the living room. Based on this evidence, Bowen and Rouse were charged with larceny in a building. The trial judge instructed the jury to only consider a lesser included offense of attempt to commit larceny in a building because he did not believe that the original charge of larceny in a building was properly brought to his courtroom. However, the trial judge did not instruct the jury on the elements of the crime of attempt, including the overt-act requirement. Instead, the trial judge instructed the jury that the jurors should convict Bowen and Rouse if they found that Bowen and Rouse came to or entered the house with the intention of committing larceny inside. Bowen and Rouse were convicted of attempted larceny, and they appealed their convictions.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Levin, J.)
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