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COMMONWEALTH v. EVANCHO ET AL. (03/16/54)

March 16, 1954

COMMONWEALTH
v.
EVANCHO ET AL.



COUNSEL

A. H. Rosenberg, Rosenberg & Rosenberg, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Albert A. Fiok, Leonard C. Staisey, Asst. Dist. Attys., James F. Malone, Jr., Dist. Atty., Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Ross, Gunther, Wright and Woodside, Jj.

Author: Woodside

[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 227]

WOODSIDE, Judge.

This comes before us on appeal from the lower court's refusal to grant a new trial to the appellants who were found guilty by a jury of robbery and assault and battery.

The pertinent facts established by the Commonwealth's testimony disclose that on the evening of December 24, 1951, at about 8 o'clock, John Revtai visited a tavern owned by Frank Magnelli, who that evening introduced him to the defendants. After drinking together the defendant Charles Evancho said he felt ill and asked Revtai to take him home, whereupon Revtai, Evancho and John Fela, the other defendant, left in Revtai's truck. Revtai was directed by one of the defendants to a field in the rear of an apartment house. As Revtai was getting out of the truck he was struck on the head with a blunt instrument and then severely beaten and robbed. The items stolen from his person were his wallet and contents, approximately $180 in cash, a twenty dollar check, a packet of matches from the Globe Lounge, a Calvert whiskey emblem and a piece of soapstone, or plumber's chalk. Revtai, upon regaining consciousness, returned to Magnelli's taproom and told him of having been beaten and robbed, whereupon Magnelli called the police.

[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 228]

The defendants were arrested later that evening and identified by Revtai. Upon being brought to the police station the two defendants were searched and the following objects were found on the person of the defendant Fela: a long handled screw driver, a packet of matches from the Globe Lounge, a Calvert whiskey emblem design, a piece of soapstone or plumber's chalk, $42 in his wallet, $52 in bills crumpled in his pocket and $6 in change. Evancho had nothing in his pockets when searched.

The defendants offered in their own defense an alibi. Fela said he was not in Frank's Tavern on the night in question and stated that he never saw the prosecutor before he was arrested. Evancho said he went to Frank's Tavern on the night in question about 6 o'clock and was there until about 8 o'clock. While there he met the prosecutor for the first time. A round of drinks ensued after which he said he left and went home, later going to the P. & L. E. Restaurant where he met Fela sometime around 11 o'clock P.M. After that the police of McKees Rocks came and arrested them and turned them over to the Stowe Township police who searched them and removed from them the above-mentioned articles. They denied any knowledge of the crime and further testified to having been beaten by the police officers. After conviction and sentence these appeals were taken.

The appellants raised a number of objections to the trial court's charge and rulings on evidence. None has merit. The errors, if any, were harmless.

Revtai, a plumbing contractor, testified he had $180 with him when he was robbed, having received $140 of it that day in payment for opening a sewer. Defense counsel cross-examined him as to whether he kept records of money received. After receiving testimony that he did keep such records, the ...


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