Donald v. United States, 70 App.D.C. 14, 102 F.2d 618; Beard v. United States, 65 App.D.C. 231, 82 F.2d 837, certiorari denied, 298 U.S. 655, 56 S.Ct. 675, 80 L.Ed. 1382.
It is not necessary that the appellant should have been in permanent possession of the premises, or that he be a lessee or even a keeper
We are equally certain that there was sufficient evidence from which a jury might conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant was at least in the immediate control of the premises during the occasions when the gaming was in progress. It is only incumbent upon the Government to show that he was in charge, possession, or control of the place when the offense occurred.
United States, we held that in these circumstances and without any testimony on appellant’s behalf to explain his presence in the room, the jury had a perfect right to conclude that he was in control or charge of the concession
Donald v. United States, 70 App.D.C. 14, 102 F.2d 618; see Gullatt v. State ex rel. Collins, 169 Ga. 538, 150 S.E. 825.
Often he was found in the rear room, from which he would unbolt the intervening door after some delay during which his “visitors” were heard hustling through the back door. In these instances, appellant was found alone in the rear of the premises. On some occasions the appellant protested vigorously at the intrusion of the police; at other times he volunteered or agreed to conduct them through the premises, at one time allowing them to surprise the six patrons, as previously stated. The appellant was recognized as one of the sixteen men who scrambled over the back fence upon the occasion when the rear room occupants had been “tipped off” to the police call. When the police entered the basement during the final visit and arrest, they observed appellant just coming from the money locker at the end of the room. A search of his person revealed that he was carrying $ in bills and coin of varying denominations.
The constant presence of appellant at the premises, the dominion and authority he asserted therein, his position and conduct during the several visits and the eventual raid, amounted to ample evidence to support the inference that appellant was in control and possession of the premises upon those occasions. In the case of Beard v. “This is a case like that of men found at midnight at a blockade still in full operation, located in the depths of a swamp. Their presence at the place of the crime may be accidental and innocent, but the inference is that it is not, and calls for explanation; and, if they offer none and the jury convict, an appellate court would not be justified in saying that the inference is not sufficient to sustain the conviction. * * *” [Italics supplied]
Prima facie evidence of the corpus delicti being made out, the way was paved for the introduction of several damaging admissions made by the appellant. The Government presented the unchallenged testimony of the visiting policemen as to statements which appellant is alleged to have made during the visits and after his arrest. It appears that the police made repeated requests to appellant to close the concession, without avail. The substance of his replies was that he didn’t do very much business, that running a joint was all that he knew how to do, that he had to feed his children, that he was just trying to make a living, that booking horses was in his blood, that he was going to run a bookmaking joint as long as he pleased, and that if he should stop his business, there would be twenty people trying to take it over.