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COMMONWEALTH v. THOMPSON ET AL. (07/17/56)

July 17, 1956

COMMONWEALTH
v.
THOMPSON ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeals, Nos. 108 and 109, April T., 1956, from judgments of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Allegheny County, Feb. T., 1953, Nos. 36, 39, 41, 42, 43, 48, 49, 50 and 63, in cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert Thompson and Edwin Lewis. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Robert Thompson and Edwin Lewis, appellants, in propria persona.

Edward C. Boyle, District Attorney and William Claney Smith, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ.

Author: Gunther

[ 181 Pa. Super. Page 573]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

These are separate appeals by Robert Thompson and Edwin Lewis from their convictions for a series of burglaries. Since each appeal involves identical issues, we will dispose of them together.

Appellants were charged with 32 different acts of burglary and receiving stolen goods in the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Allegheny County, which occurred between October, 1952 and January, 1953. Not only appellants were involved in these burglaries, but also a Paul Stertz who previously pleaded guilty to his complicity. At that time, Paul Stertz absolved the appellants.*fn1 In the trial of the appellants, Stertz recanted his testimony absolving them and detailed the part appellants took in the various burglaries. The trial of the appellants was conducted before Honorable RUSSELL H. ADAMS*fn2 sitting without a jury, the right to a jury trial having been previously waived, and they

[ 181 Pa. Super. Page 574]

    were found guilty on ten indictments (Nos. 36, 39, 41, 43, 47, 48, 49, 50 and 63 February Sessions, 1953). On indictment No. 41 February Sessions, 1953, they were sentenced to undergo imprisonment of not less than eight years nor more than sixteen years and sent to the Western Correctional Diagnostic and Classification Center of Pennsylvania. Sentence on the remaining indictments was suspended.

From this sentence appellants have taken these appeals in which they question their convictions on the testimony of Stertz. Appellants attack the competency of Stertz to testify because allegedly committing perjury and because he was a self-confessed accomplice in the burglaries charged.

The contentions of appellants cannot be sustained.

The uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice may sustain a conviction: Commonwealth v. DeMasi, 234 Pa. 570, 83 A. 430; Commonwealth v. Elliott, 292 Pa. 16, 140 A. 537; Commonwealth v. Billingsley, 160 Pa. Superior Ct. 140, 50 A.2d 703; Commonwealth v. Ballow, 171 Pa. Superior Ct. 54, 90 A.2d 363. While the record shows that Stertz was the only witness on proof relating to the criminal agency of appellants, numerous other witnesses testified as to the ...


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