Baldonado v. California

RESPONDENT: California
LOCATION: Eagle Coffee Shoppe

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 366 US 417 (1961)
ARGUED: May 08, 1961
DECIDED: May 22, 1961

Facts of the case


Media for Baldonado v. California

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 08, 1961 (Part 1) in Baldonado v. California

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 08, 1961 (Part 2) in Baldonado v. California

Earl Warren:

-- you may continue.

William E. James:

Thank you Your Honor.

At the recess, Your Honor asked if I would ascertain the date of the --

Earl Warren:


William E. James:

-- sentencing on the fake annulment proceeding that I have confirmed it with counsel and it's agreed that on April the 3rd or at least the date that petitioner Duncan was sentenced on the murder charge.

She entered pleas to -- pleas of guilty to two counts in the fake annulment proceedings and was sentenced accordingly on that date.

Earl Warren:


William E. James:

That was after the trial and after the sentence in the murder case, April the 3rd, 1959.

Tom C. Clark:


William E. James:


Thank you.

Now, I will proceed in regard to these exhibits.

As you recall, we've examined the exhibits that are -- were before the Court on the motion for change of venue made by petitioner Moya, joined in by petitioner Baldonado on January the 13th, 1959.

Among the exhibits was the Oxnard Press Courier.

A town in the Ventura County close to the City of Ventura in which on the front pages headline, or rather not headline, the picture of petitioner Duncan and it states, "Daughter-in-law, missing impersonation jails woman."

This continued in the other exhibits that were before the Court, Exhibit Number 12, which was the Ventura County Star Free Press of December 17th, related authorities fear attractive nurse foul play victim.

And the story is -- commences authorities in Santa Barbara now are convinced that all the Duncan attractive three-year-old nurse and wife of Attorney Frank Duncan met with foul play.

And it continues, gives the facts which the news media obtained which it reported in the public press.

Hugo L. Black:

May I ask you, do you have a brief in the Duncan case also?

William E. James:

Yes, Your Honor.

We filed a brief in the Duncan case, in the Baldonado case and the Moya case, separate briefs in all three cases.

On December 18th, the next day, and this is all prior to the finding of -- of the victim's body, Olga Duncan in the Ventura County Star Free Press which is Exhibit Number 13 before the trial court is the headline "Ex-convict sought for rolling Duncan fake annulment".

DA says man post as lawyer and it has a picture of Ralph Winterstein who is the codefendant with petitioner Duncan in the fake annulment proceedings.

On the succeeding dates --

Earl Warren:

Did he plead guilty too?

William E. James:

As I recall, yes.

And he testified in the trial of Elizabeth Duncan which occurred from February the 20th to the 16th of March.

On December 19th, Exhibit Number 14, the Ventura County Star Free Press, there is a story on the front page, "Chase of the Fake Annulment."

She witness gives DA valuable information and a story is placed in the paper, they're concerning this fake annulment proceeding.

Then on the succeeding day, Saturday, December 20th, there is the report in the Ventura County Star Free Press, December 20th Exhibit 15 (a), kidnapped murder charges filed in case of missing nurse, mother-in-law, two men held.