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COMMONWEALTH v. SZOCKI (12/28/56)

December 28, 1956

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SZOCKI, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 198, April T., 1956, from order of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Erie County, Feb. T., 1955, No. 21, in case of Commonwealth v. Stanley Szocki. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Stanley Szocki, appellant, in propria persona.

Herbert J. Johnson, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

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

Author: Carr

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 80]

OPINION BY CARR, J.

On February 16, 1955 trial was held in the Court of Oyer & Terminer of Erie County, Pennsylvania on an indictment charging the defendant, Stanley Szocki, with the burglary of a restaurant on East Lake Road in the City of Erie, and the larceny of certain money and other property from the restaurant. A verdict of guilty was returned and he was sentenced to the Western State Penitentiary for a period of not less than five nor more than fifteen years. One Stanley Szewczyk had waived indictment and entered a plea of guilty to the same charges. The appellant, Szocki, on May 8, 1956 filed a paper in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County in the nature of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. This petition was referred to the Court of Oyer & Terminer to be treated as a motion for a new trial and a rule was granted returnable May 22, 1956 requiring the Commonwealth to show cause why a new trial should not be had as to the defendant

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 81]

Szocki. This appeal is from the refusal of the court below to grant a new trial.

In his petition to the court below the appellant alleged that the testimony of Szewczyk, the principal witness for the Commonwealth, had been given by him, "... at the suggestion of the arresting officers and in fear of brutality at the hands of the police officers if he failed to implicate the petitioner." To his petition Szocki attached an affidavit made by Szewczyk which stated that his testimony at the trial and his statement to the police officers after his arrest were false and had been made in fear of the third degree. The petition also alleged that the prosecuting attorney had suppressed the evidence of the results of certain lie detector tests to which he had submitted.

At the trial the principal Commonwealth witness was Stanley Szewczyk. He testified that after drinking with Szocki during the evening of January 4 and the morning of January 5, 1955, they separated about 1:00 o'clock a.m. Szewczyk then stole an automobile and went to Szocki's apartment where he woke Szocki and took him to Harry's Sandwich Shop on East Lake Road in the City of Erie. There Szewczyk gained entrance by taking out a screen and pushing in a hinged type window. After entering he opened the rear door and admitted Szocki who acted as his lookout while he broke open a cigarette machine, a juke box coin box and took a small amount of money from the cash register and a gun from a cabinet or safe. After leaving the restaurant they went to the car, which was parked three or four blocks away, and drove towards Pittsburgh, arriving there about 7:00 or 8:00 o'clock in the morning.

Evelyn B. Wilson, deputy clerk of courts, was called in rebuttal by the ...


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