Appeals, Nos. 80 to 89, inclusive, Oct. T., 1955, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County, Nov. T., 1952, Nos. 259 and 260, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph McSorley et al. Order affirmed.
C. William Kraft, Jr., with him Robert L. Trescher, C. Brewster Rhoads, and Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, for appellants.
J. Harold Hughes, Assistant District Attorney, with him Raymond R. Start, District Attorney and Joseph E. Pappano, First Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, and Woodside, JJ. (ervin, J., absent).
[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 467]
Defendants were convicted of riot, riotous assault, conspiracy to commit riot and riotous destruction of property, all stemming from a riot on July 28, 1952 at the former county jail in Media. On appeal this court affirmed the judgments of sentence in an opinion reported at 174 Pa. Superior Ct. 634, 101 A.2d 919. Thereafter defendants filed a motion for a new trial on the basis of after-discovered evidence. The motion was refused by the court below and defendants have again appealed.
The after-discovered evidence consists of the testimony of two detectives hired by defendants to interrogate
[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 468]
the most important prosecution witness, William Blocker. This witness was the only one to identify four of the five defendants. The detectives, at a hearing on this motion, testified on the results of two interviews with Blocker after the trial. The gist of their testimony is that Blocker was unable to identify any of defendants at the police station the day of the riot; that the police accused him of lying and continued interrogating him; that he talked at the police station with Joseph Gleba, a victim of the assault and an object of the riot, who told him not to fear and to tell the truth; and that he was released by the police late at night and only after finally identifying defendants. There was no implication that any force or threat was used by the police toward Blocker. The Commonwealth attempted to rebut this testimony at the hearing by the testimony of the chief of police and of Blocker himself. The chief testified that Blocker was not kept under custody, was not accused of lying and did not remain until late at night. Blocker testified that the detectives introduced themselves as union men (the riot involved a union fight) and implied he would be paid for changing his testimony; in general he corroborated the testimony of the chief of police. The record of the trial shows that Blocker did not identify anyone at the police station the day of the riot, but first did so at the hearing a few days later; also that he made a mistaken identification which he quickly corrected.
Defendants contend that the testimony of the two detectives demolishes the credibility of Blocker, on whom the Commonwealth relied for identification. It is alleged that he had a motive for falsely identifying defendants in that he wanted to leave the police station and placate the officers and in that he wanted to please Joseph Gleba with whom he had business dealings
[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 469]
and from whom he was found guilty of ...