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COMMONWEALTH v. SMITH (04/16/58)

April 16, 1958

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SMITH, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 62 and 63, March T., 1958, from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Dauphin County, June T., 1957, Nos. 108 and 109, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Pete Smith et al. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

John H. Bream, for appellant.

Martin H. Lock, Assistant District Attorney, with him John A. Roe, Assistant District Attorney, and Huette F. Dowling, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt and Gunther, JJ., absent).

Author: Ervin

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 91]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

The appellant, Pete Smith, was indicted to Nos. 108 and 109, June Sessions, 1957, on charges of bookmaking and pool selling and conspiracy to do an unlawful act. There were four co-defendants on the conspiracy charge, each of whom was also indicted separately on a charge of bookmaking and pool selling. One of the co-defendants, Sam Plotnick, was also indicted on a charge of keeping a gaming house. All these indictments were consolidated for trial, at the conclusion of which the appellant and each of his co-defendants were found guilty by a jury on all charges. After dismissal of appellant's motion for a new trial and sentence upon both indictments, Smith appealed.

On May 1, 1957, the Pennsylvania State Police conducted a raid at 317 Chestnut Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, during which the appellant and his co-defendants were arrested. The premises raided were known as "Sam's Billiard Parlor" and consisted basically of two rooms. The first room off the street was a pool room. The rear room was where the State Police found the appellant and his co-defendants. The rear room contained a vast quantity of equipment and paraphernalia used in connection with a bookmaking operation, including an extremely large number of "bet

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 92]

    sheets" upon which innumerable wagers were entered, a considerable stock of unused lined pads of the type used by "bookies" for the purpose of recording bets, race information publications, record sheets showing the volume of business done by various "bookies" over a period of approximately a week and a half preceding the raid, quantities of office supplies, a wall pay telephone and another telephone, which were both registered to the raided premises, three telephones described as homemade and equipped with a flashing light rather than a bell and illegally connected to other lines, and a large quantity of headsets and other homemade telephonic equipment. In addition, there was an adding machine as well as a comptometer.

Trooper Regan, who was the first State Policeman to enter this rear room, testified that he saw the defendant, Smith, getting up from a chair, which was located in front of three small tables situated together at the rear or south wall of said room. He testified that Smith was dressed in a T-shirt; that on the tables were three Armstrong racing informational publications and quite a few bet sheets; that to the right of the chair from which Smith arose was a comptometer and to the left of said chair was a master record sheet indicating business done by various "bookies" for the week preceding the raid and for the first few days of the week of the raid. Corporal Corkran, Corporal Richardson and Sergeant McCartney all testified that telephone calls were received during the course of the raid in which the caller asked for "Pete" and in which bets were placed on horse races or information was requested concerning the results of certain horse races.

A great many such telephone calls were received, which were answered by the participating State Police officers. In addition to calls for "Pete," (the appellant's ...


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