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COMMONWEALTH v. MCHUGH ET AL. (11/14/58)

November 14, 1958

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MCHUGH ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeals, Nos. 19 and 20, Feb. T., 1959, from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Lackawanna County, Oct. T., 1955, No. 331, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph J. McHugh et al. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Joseph P. Brennan, for appellants.

Carlon M. O'Malley, District Attorney, with him William J. Kearney, First Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (gunther, J., absent).

Author: Rhodes

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 570]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

Joseph J. McHugh and Robert K. Malloy appealed from judgments of sentence imposed by the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lackawanna County after their conviction, together with certain other defendants, of the crime of conspiracy. The indictment charged defendants,

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 571]

Joseph Bartell [Bartel], Philip E. Brady, Joseph J. McHugh, and Robert K. Malloy, with conspiring to unlawfully, willfully, wantonly and maliciously damage and destroy and cause to be damaged or destroyed a certain partially built and constructed building in the City of Scranton. All the defendants were convicted on the charge of conspiracy; the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, however, on another indictment charging malicious mischief.

Appellants contend that they did not receive a fair and impartial trial because of the closing argument of the district attorney which is alleged to have been inflammatory and prejudicial, and because of the charge of the court which is alleged to have been argumentative in favor of the Commonwealth.

Appellants and their co-defendants were officials of various labor unions in the Scranton area. In 1953, a nonunion construction company from Luzerne County contracted to build a house for Joseph and Ellen Denny on Seymour Avenue in the City of Scranton. Work was started on December 29, 1953. On December 31, 1953, as the work progressed, Joseph Bartell, one of the defendants who has not appealed, appeared on the job. His home joins the rear of the Denny property. Bartell was business agent for the local carpenters' union and was president of an organization of trade unions called the Scranton Building Trades Council. Bartell asked who was doing the work and whether it was a union job; upon being told that it was not a union job he said that it had better be. Work continued on the building, and McHugh placed a picket from the teamsters' union at the job.

On January 15, 1954, a group consisting of twenty to forty men appeared at the premises. They climbed on the scaffolding, forced off the men working on the ...


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