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COMMONWEALTH v. KNABLE (01/07/52)

January 7, 1952

COMMONWEALTH
v.
KNABLE, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 265, Jan. T., 1951, from decision of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Cumberland County, Dec. Sessions, 1950, No. 4, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Helen LaRue Knable. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

John D. Faller, Jr., for appellant.

William R. Mark, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 369 Pa. Page 172]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Appellant alleges approximately twenty trial errors but it will be necessary to refer to only two of them.

[ 369 Pa. Page 173]

Defendant, a married woman, was indicted for the killing of Herbert Lemin, with whom she had been living on and off for two years. During this time they had frequent quarrels, and according to her testimony, he beat her up several times and threatened to kill her.

On the day of the shooting they had numerous quarrels. She asked him to give her his gun and when he refused she took it from him. She pulled the trigger, couldn't make it fire, but after he fixed it, she pulled the trigger again and the gun fired. When she refused to give him the gun, according to her, he struck her, threw her to the ground twice and took the gun.

The Commonwealth proved by a statement of Lemin to the doctor, which was not objected to, that "he was seated in his car when his girl friend, Helen Knable of Cleversburg, Pa., reached in the window and shot him with the revolver". Defendant signed on September 5, 1950 a confession in which, after stating that Lemin twice threw her to the ground, she said: "Herbert then got into his car and sat down behind the wheel. The car door on his side was open, and I walked over to the door and kept on arguing with him about the gun. I told him that he could not have the car unless he gave the gun to me. Finally, he handed the gun to me, and I closed his door shut. At this time, we started to argue about the fellow who had taken me to the dance at the Cashtown Hotel on August 19, 1950. Herbert kept on harping about my running around, and I told him that a couple of his girls needed something done to them too. Herbert told me that I was too yellow to do anything and that made me mad. All the time that we were arguing, I had my both arms on the car door and window was rolled down. I pointed the gun toward him and pulled the trigger. After I pulled the trigger of the gun, I opened the door and Herbert rolled out. As Herbert rolled out, I told him that maybe this will learn you a lesson.

[ 369 Pa. Page 174]

He said Shorty, if you never did anything for me, take me to a doctor. I helped him get up on his feet and ...


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