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January 21, 1958


Appeal, No. 197, Oct. T., 1957, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, Jan. T., 1956, No. 95, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Anthony J. Trignani. Judgment affirmed.


Michael von Moschzisker, with him Sidney Ginsberg, for appellant.

Juanita Kidd Stout, Assistant District Attorney, James N. Lafferty, First Assistant District Attorney, and Victor H. Blanc, District Attorney, for appellee.

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

Author: Woodside

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 334]


The defendant, Anthony J. Trignani, was found guilty by a jury of aggravated robbery, and of assault and battery with intent to commit murder. After receiving a sentence of 10 to 20 years in the penitentiary, he appealed to this Court, claiming that he should be granted a new trial.

Philip J. Anzelone, an employee of the C. & C. Clothing Co., 1234 Carpenter St., Philadelphia, was returning from the bank at about 12:30 o'clock in the afternoon of November 25, 1955, carrying a brief case containing the company's payroll of approximately $10,300. As he walked across a platform in the rear of the company's building, a man opened a restaurant

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 335]

    door about 10 feet away from him, jumped onto the platform and approached him. The man then grabbed the brief case and said, "Give me the bag". As there were several people in the immediate vicinity, Anzelone thought it was a joke and said, "Let go, it is the payroll". Thereupon, the man shot Anzelone in the stomach, took the brief case with the money, and ran away. Anzelone, not knowing that he had been shot, chased the robber across the platform and down the street and then fell to the sidewalk. In the meantime the robber entered a Ford car and disappeared. The car in which the robber is believed to have left the scene was abandoned a short distance away. It apparently had been stolen the morning of the robbery.

A number of people saw the robbery and identified the defendant as the man who committed it.

Seven or eight days after the shooting the defendant was brought before the victim in the Community Hospital and was identified with certainty by him. At the trial, Anzelone said that he looked the robber in the face when the man approached and shot him and on two instances while chasing him. He said that he was positively certain that the defendant was the man who shot him, and that "the position I was in I could never forget that face."

The defendant was also identified as the robber by other eyewitnesses to the crime, including Carl Lindsay, Josephine Scafidi, Estella Stephenson and an eleven year old boy, Clarence Perkins. Lindsay positively identified the defendant at the trial and at a police line-up as the man who had committed the robbery. Scafidi and Stephenson also picked the defendant out of a line-up and identified him at the trial, although Mrs. Scafidi qualified her testimony with "I think it was him." Shortly after the robbery Mrs. Stephenson was shown photographs at the police station,

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 336]

    and said that one of them, which was not of the defendant, "looks a little like the man". When the person, whose picture she had seen, was picked up and brought before her she said definitely that he was not the man who committed the robbery. Subsequently at the police line-up and at the trial she identified the defendant as the robber. Although Clarence, the 11 year old boy, identified the defendant at the trial he had previously identified another person as the robber. His testimony concerning identity was for the jury, but in our opinion was worthy of very little weight.

On December 2, the defendant, having learned that the police were looking for him, appeared with his counsel, Sidney Ginsberg, and surrendered himself to them. When questioned by the police he said that he knew nothing about the robbery, that he was in no way connected with it, and that at the time it was committed he was in a room with several other men at 763 South 8th Street preparing it for occupancy as a club, which he and the others were forming. According to the policemen who were witnesses, the defendant did not tell who these men were except to identify one of them as "Joe", and according to one of the officers, another as "Domenick". He told the officers that they could learn from his counsel who these men were.

At the trial, Santo Romeo, Joseph Mellace, Carmen DiTore and Salvatore Matteo, testified that the defendant was with them at the club ...

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