Appeal, No. 183, April T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Erie County, Feb. T., 1956, No. 128, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Roy Helwig. Judgment affirmed.
Roy Helwig, appellant, in propria persona.
Richard D. Agresti, Assistant District Attorney, with him Herbert J. Johnson, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 372]
Roy Helwig was charged with burglary, larceny, and receiving stolen goods. He was indicted by a grand jury, tried in the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Erie County and found guilty of larceny and burglary on February 23, 1956. The court below dismissed the charge of receiving stolen goods. After a motion for a new trial was refused by the court below, the appellant was sentenced on May 17, 1956 to pay a fine of $100., the costs of prosecution, to restore the property taken, if he had not already done so, or pay the value thereof to the owner, and undergo imprisonment in the Western State Penitentiary, for an indefinite term, minimum 4 years, maximum 10 years. The appellant was represented by a court appointed attorney until the moment of trial, when at the request of the appellant, a motion to withdraw his appearance was granted. The appellant then tried the case himself and has filed this appeal and brief on his own behalf. This appeal is from the judgment and sentence imposed by the court below.
The Girard Police were informed by J. C. Jacobsen that his place of business was broken into on or about September 29, 1954. A Black & Decker portable saw, a used Smith-Corona typewriter and a used Victor movie projector and speaker had been taken. On or about October 31, 1954, the Chief of Police was informed
[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 373]
by an anonymous letter that the appellant committed the burglary. The articles stolen were located and recovered by the police in the hands of Joseph Campana and Benjamin Blakely, in Warren, Ohio. Both these men had been in an Ohio prison with the appellant and the appellant had visited the home of Campana on several occasions in the two-year period prior to the present offense. Both men were questioned but the investigation failed to produce any evidence of their guilt. Both men voluntarily appeared at the trial and testified that the appellant had sold the stolen articles to them.
It was later discovered that Cora Helwig, wife of the appellant, had written the anonymous letter and after the police interviewed her, the appellant was arrested and charged with the crime. At the time of the trial Mrs. Memmert, then divorced from her husband, was called by the appellant as his witness. However, she testified that the appellant admitted to her the commission of the crime and the trial judge permitted a rigid cross-examination by the appellant of his witness which took about 4 days of the 8-day trial.
The appellant throughout the trial made every effort to place the blame for the burglary on Campana and Blakely, the Commonwealth's witnesses. He admitted possession of the property involved but claimed they had been gifts from them. The jury evidently believed the appellant's wife and the commonwealth's witnesses, Campana and Blakely, and convicted him.
The appellant set out from the beginning of his trial to use the constitutional safeguards of every citizen as weapons to thwart the efforts of constituted authority to protect society from criminal acts. The lower court recognized his plan and leaned over backwards to patiently extend to him ...