Article 15.

Indictment.

§§ 15-140 through 15-143.  Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1286, s. 26.

 

§ 15-144.  Essentials of bill for homicide.

In indictments for murder and manslaughter, it is not necessary to allege matter not required to be proved on the trial; but in the body of the indictment, after naming the person accused, and the county of his residence, the date of the offense, the averment "with force and arms," and the county of the alleged commission of the offense, as is now usual, it is sufficient in describing murder to allege that the accused person feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought, did kill and murder (naming the person killed), and concluding as is now required by law; and it is sufficient in describing manslaughter to allege that the accused feloniously and willfully did kill and slay (naming the person killed), and concluding as aforesaid; and any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations herein named shall be good and sufficient in law as an indictment for murder or manslaughter, as the case may be. (1887, c. 58; Rev., s. 3245; C.S., s. 4614.)

 

§ 15-144.1.  Essentials of bill for rape.

(a)       In indictments for rape it is not necessary to allege every matter required to be proved on the trial; but in the body of the indictment, after naming the person accused, the date of the offense, the county in which the offense of rape was allegedly committed, and the averment "with force and arms," it is sufficient in describing rape to allege that the accused person unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did ravish and carnally know the victim, naming her, by force and against her will and concluding as required by law. Any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations named in this section is good and sufficient in law as an indictment for rape in the first degree and will support a verdict of guilty of rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, attempted rape, or assault on a female.

(b)       If the victim is a female child under the age of 13 years, it is sufficient to allege that the accused unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did carnally know and abuse a child under 13, naming her, and concluding as required by law. Any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations named in this section is good and sufficient in law as an indictment for the rape of a female child under the age of 13 years and all lesser included offenses.

(c)       If the victim is a person who has a mental disability or who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, it is sufficient to allege that the defendant unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did carnally know and abuse a person who had a mental disability or who was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, naming the victim, and concluding as required by law. Any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations named in this section is good and sufficient in law for the rape of a person who has a mental disability or who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless and all lesser included offenses.  (1977, c. 861, s. 1; 1979, c. 682, s. 10; 1983, c. 720, s. 1; 2002-159, s. 2(d); 2018-47, s. 4(i).)

 

§ 15-144.2.  Essentials of bill for sex offense.

(a)       In indictments for sex offense it is not necessary to allege every matter required to be proved on the trial; but in the body of the indictment, after naming the person accused, the date of the offense, the county in which the sex offense was allegedly committed, and the averment "with force and arms," it is sufficient in describing a sex offense to allege that the accused person unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did engage in a sex offense with the victim, naming the victim, by force and against the will of the victim and concluding as required by law. Any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations named in this section is good and sufficient in law as an indictment for a first degree sex offense and will support a verdict of guilty of a sex offense in the first degree, a sex offense in the second degree, an attempt to commit a sex offense, or an assault.

(b)       If the victim is a person under the age of 13 years, it is sufficient to allege that the defendant unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did engage in a sex offense with a child under the age of 13 years, naming the child, and concluding as required by law. Any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations named in this section is good and sufficient in law as an indictment for a sex offense against a child under the age of 13 years and all lesser included offenses.

(c)       If the victim is a person who has a mental disability or who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, it is sufficient to allege that the defendant unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did engage in a sex offense with a person who had a mental disability or who was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, naming the victim, and concluding as required by law. Any bill of indictment containing the averments and allegations named in this section is good and sufficient in law for a sex offense against a person who has a mental disability or who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless and all lesser included offenses.  (1979, c. 682, s. 11; 1983, c. 720, ss. 2, 3; 2002-159, s. 2(e); 2018-47, s. 4(j).)

 

§ 15-145.  Form of bill for perjury.

In every indictment for willful and corrupt perjury it is sufficient to set forth the substance of the offense charged upon the defendant, and by what court, or before whom, the oath was taken (averring such court or person to have competent authority to administer the same), together with the proper averments to falsify the matter wherein the perjury is assigned, without setting forth the bill, answer, information, indictment, declaration, or any part of any record or proceedings, either in law or equity, other than aforesaid,  and without setting forth the commission or authority of the court or person before whom the perjury was committed. In indictments for perjury the following form shall be sufficient, to wit:

The jurors for the State, on their oath, present, that A.B., of______ County, did unlawfully commit perjury upon the trial of an action in ______ court, in ________ County,  wherein ________ was plaintiff and ______ was defendant, by falsely asserting, on oath (or solemn affirmation) (here set out the statement or statements alleged to be false), knowing the said statement, or statements, to be false, or being ignorant whether or not said statement was true. (1842, c. 49, s. 1; R.C., c. 35, s. 16; Code, s. 1185; 1889, c. 83; Rev., ss. 3246, 3247; C.S., s. 4615.)

 

§ 15-146.  Bill for subornation of perjury.

In every indictment for subornation of perjury, or for corrupt bargaining or contracting with others to commit willful and corrupt perjury, it is sufficient to set forth the substance of the offense charged upon the defendant, without setting forth the bill, answer, information, indictment, declaration or any part of any record or proceedings, and without setting forth the commission or authority  of the court or person before whom the perjury was committed or was agreed or promised to be committed. (1842, c. 49, s. 2; R.C., c. 35, s. 17; Code, s. 1186; Rev., s. 3248; C.S., s. 4616.)

 

§ 15-147.  Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1286, s. 26.

 

§ 15-148.  Manner of alleging joint ownership of property.

In any indictment wherein it is necessary to state the ownership of any property whatsoever, whether real or personal, which belongs to, or is in the possession of, more than one person, whether such persons be partners in trade, joint tenants or tenants in common, it is sufficient to name one of such persons, and to state such property to belong to the person so named, and another or others as the case may be; and whenever, in any such indictment, it is necessary to mention, for any purpose whatsoever, any partners, joint tenants or tenants in common, it is sufficient to describe them in the manner aforesaid; and this provision shall extend to all joint-stock companies and trustees. (R.C., c. 35, s. 19; Code, s. 1188; Rev., s. 3250; C.S., s. 4618.)

 

§ 15-149.  Description in bill for larceny of money.

In every indictment in which it is necessary to make any averment as to the larceny of any money, or United States treasury note, or any note of any bank whatsoever, it is sufficient to describe such money, or treasury note, or bank note, simply as money, without specifying any particular coin, or treasury note, or bank note; and such allegation, so far as regards the description of the property, shall be sustained by proof of any amount of coin, or treasury note, or bank note, although the particular species of coin, of which such amount was composed, or the particular nature of the treasury note, or bank note, shall not be proven. (1876-7, c. 68; Code, s. 1190; Rev., s. 3251; C.S., s. 4619.)

 

§ 15-150.  Description in bill for embezzlement.

In indictments for embezzlement, except when the offense relates to a chattel, it is sufficient to allege the embezzlement to be of money, without specifying any particular coin or valuable security; and such allegation, so far as regards the description of the property, shall be sustained if the offender shall be proved to have embezzled any amount, although the particular species of coin or valuable security of which such amount was composed shall not be proved. (1871-2, c. 145, s. 2; Code, s. 1020; Rev., s. 3252; C.S., s. 4620.)

 

§ 15-151.  Intent to defraud; larceny and receiving.

In any case where an intent to defraud is required to constitute the offense of forgery, or any other offense whatever, it is sufficient to allege in the indictment an intent to defraud, without naming therein the particular person or body corporate intended to be defrauded; and on the trial of such indictment, it shall be sufficient, and shall not be deemed a variance, if there appear to be an intent to defraud the United States, or any state, county, city, town, or parish, or body corporate, or any public officer in his official capacity, or any copartnership or member thereof, or any particular person. The defendant may be charged in the same indictment in several counts with the separate offenses of receiving stolen goods, knowing them to be stolen, and larceny. (1852, c. 87, s. 2; R.C., c. 35, ss. 21, 23; 1874-5, c. 62; Code, s. 1191; Rev., s. 3253; C.S., s. 4621.)

 

§ 15-152.  Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1286, s. 26.

 

§ 15-153.  Bill or warrant not quashed for informality.

Every criminal proceeding by warrant, indictment, information, or impeachment is sufficient in form for all intents and purposes if it express the charge against the defendant in a plain, intelligible, and explicit manner; and the same shall not be quashed, nor the judgment thereon stayed, by reason of any informality or refinement, if in the bill or proceeding, sufficient matter appears to enable the court to proceed to judgment. (37 Hen. VIII, c. 8; 1784, c. 210, s. 2, P.R.; 1811, c. 809, P.R.; R.C., c. 35, s. 14; Code, s. 1183; Rev., s. 3254; C.S., s. 4623.)

 

§ 15-154.  Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1286, s. 26.

 

§ 15-155.  Defects which do not vitiate.

No judgment upon any indictment for felony or misdemeanor,  whether after verdict, or by confession, or otherwise, shall be stayed or reversed for the want of the averment of any matter unnecessary to be proved, nor for omission of the words "as appears by the record," or of the words "with force and arms," nor for the insertion of the words "against the form of the statutes" instead of the words "against the form of the statute," or vice versa; nor for omission of the words "against the form of the statute" or "against the form of the statutes," nor for omitting to state the time at which the offense was committed in any case where time is not of the essence of the offense, nor for stating the time imperfectly, nor for stating the offense to have been committed on a day subsequent to the finding of the indictment, or on an impossible day, or on a day that never happened; nor for want of a proper and perfect venue, when the court shall appear by the indictment to have had jurisdiction of the offense. (7 Hen. VIII, c. 8; R.C., c. 35, s. 20; Code, s. 1189; Rev., s. 3255; C.S., s. 4625.)