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COMMONWEALTH v. CORONITI *FN1 (01/17/52)

January 17, 1952

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CORONITI*FN1



COUNSEL

L. Salvatore Coroniti, in pro. per.

No book or appearance for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hart, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 246]

ROSS, Judge.

Licando Salvatore Coroniti was convicted on December 7, 1942 on two indictments charging arson and burning to defraud an insurer. He was sentenced to serve a term of not less than 10 nor more than 20 years in the Eastern State Penitentiary on the arson charge; sentence was suspended on the other indictment. This Court upheld the conviction and affirmed the judgment of sentence Com. v. Coroniti, 155 Pa. Super. 131, 38 A.2d 397, and the defendant was ordered to appear in the court below to submit to incarceration in accordance with the sentence imposed.

Coroniti began serving his sentence, and there the matter rested until April 5, 1950 when his petition praying for a new trial and asking that judgment and sentence be vacated was presented to the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Northumberland County. It was alleged in the said petition that the Commonwealth's witness, Anthony Aurigemma, without whose testimony

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 247]

    the defendant could not have been convicted, had perjured himself on a material matter at the trial. After argument, and a hearing at which Aurigemma appeared and testified, Coroniti being represented by court-appointed counsel, the Court refused the motion for a new trial and dismissed the petition, and the defendant took this appeal.

Coroniti was tried twice under the indictments in this case. On the first trial, in September 1942, the jury disagreed and was discharged. The second trial, in December of that year, resulted in a conviction. At each trial the Commonwealth's witness Aurigemma testified as to certain conversations with Coroniti in the Northumberland County prison. In these conversations Coroniti admitted his participation in the crimes for which he was thereafter tried and convicted. At both trials, the witness testified that he had been in the employ of the National Board of Fire Underwriters as an arson investigator for a period of twelve years and that previous to that employment he had been employed by the United States Department of Justice and also by the Post Office Department for a period of about eight years. On cross-examination Aurigemma was questioned concerning the various places he had lived while in the employ of the Federal government. He testified that he was 'in' Chicago for 'quite awhile', that 'I was in the post office in Chicago'.

The present position of the defendant is predicated solely upon the alleged falsity of the two statements with respect to Aurigemma's employment with the Federal government. The defendant alleges in his petition that the testimony of Aurigemma concerning his employment with the United States Government is false and to substantiate the alleged perjury attached to his petition two letters addressed to the chaplain of the Eastern State Penitentiary at Graterfor, Pennsylvania -- one, June 1, 1949, signed by J. Edgar

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 248]

Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the effect that the records of the said bureau failed to reflect that Anthony Aurigemma had been employed by said bureau at any time during the period from 1922 to 1942, and another dated May 17, 1949, signed by the Acting Postmaster of the United States Post Office of Chicago, ...


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