On error to Hudson County Oyer and Terminer Court.
For the plaintiffs, Mark A. Sullivan.
For the state, John Drewen, prosecutor of the pleas (Harlan Besson, assistant prosecutor, on the brief).
The opinion of the court was delivered by
PARKER, J. The plaintiffs in error were convicted of murder in the first degree, the deceased being a man named
Cronin. The theory of the state was that Cronin had been attacked by them and severely wounded in New York City, and when in an unconscious condition had been bundled into the rumble seat of an automobile, the back shut down over him, the car driven through the Holland Tunnel and Jersey City to a point near Secaucus where the unconscious man was dumped into the swamp, and being still alive was shot in the head, the defendants taking to the car again and a few minutes later being arrested for a collision, and an inspection of the car resulting in discovery of a quantity of blood and other incriminating circumstantial evidence. This theory was amply supported by direct, circumstantial and medical expert evidence, though it was argued at the trial and is now argued here that at best the evidence fails to show but that Cronin was dead before the automobile left New York, or that the fatal blows were struck there and that death occurred in this state as a result of them and not of a bullet wound inflicted in this state. All this was naturally for the jury, who heard evidence in great detail on every phase of the case. Inasmuch as it is not argued that the verdict was against the weight of evidence, we deem it unnecessary to go more fully into the facts.
The first point made is that "the plaintiffs in error were entitled to a bill of particulars, and suffered manifest injury by reason of its denial."
There was a petition in writing to the court, and a rule to show cause thereon. The particulars asked were:
"a. The place where the State of New Jersey alleges and intends to prove that the said Cronin mentioned in the indictment was stricken, whether within or without the state.
"b. Where the said Cronin, being the man alleged to have been slain by your petitioners and mentioned in the indictment against them died, whether within or without the State of New Jersey."
The petition was filed in view of section 60, of the Criminal Procedure act (Comp. Stat., p. 1839), which reads as follows:
"Where any person shall be feloniously stricken or poisoned upon the sea, or at any place out of the jurisdiction of this state, and shall die of the same stroke or poisoning within the jurisdiction of this state, or where any person shall be ...