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COMMONWEALTH v. GAZAL (12/14/60)

December 14, 1960

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GAZAL, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 270, April T., 1960, from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Allegheny County, May T., 1959, No. 76, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. George Gazal. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Barney Phillips, for appellant.

William Claney Smith, Assistant District Attorney, with him Edward C. Boyle, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Gunther

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 133]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

George Gazal was convicted and sentenced in the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Allegheny County on a charge of receiving stolen goods. This charge grew out of a burglary committed by Milton Kendrick, Jr., Martel Inmon and Thaw Washington who stole certain jewelry, silverware and watches from the Biggard Company on March 22, 1959. Gazal was indicted for receiving 15 stolen watches from this burglary.

Pleas of guilty were entered by Thaw Washington to burglary and by Louis Esposito to receiving stolen goods concerning this crime. Gazal waived jury trial and was tried before Honorable ROBERT M. MORRIS, specially presiding. The testimony of the owner of the establishment, together with that of Washington, Esposito and the police, was offered against Gazal.

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 134]

Kendrick and Inmon demanded a jury trial and a jury was selected to try them before Judge MORRIS. Prior to the trial of these cases, the court below took the pleas of Esposito and Washington and also heard the non-jury trial of Gazal. Washington testified that he participated in the burglary; that he knew Gazal for about ten years; that after the burglary he met Gazal in the B & M Restaurant and informed him that he had some watches; that Gazal rode over to the Southside of Pittsburgh with him and that 29 watches were turned over to Gazal for examination. The next day, Gazal met Washington at the same place, returned 14 watches and kept 15, giving Washington $500.00 in cash for the 15 watches.

Washington testified that he lived at 2124 Webster Avenue, Hill District of the City of Pittsburgh. Officer Butzler testified that he received a telegram, while Gazal was in custody, concerning the location of the missing watches and that this telegram was sent from a pay station in the Hill District about a block away from Washington's residence. As a result of this information 13 watches were recovered in a locker at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. At the close of the Commonwealth's case, counsel for Gazal demurred to the evidence and requested additional time to present a brief on the evidence produced against his client.

On the same day, the Commonwealth opened to the jury on the cases involving Kendrick and Inmon. The cases were then recessed until the following morning, at which time both Kendrick and Inmon withdrew their pleas of not guilty and entered pleas of guilty. The court then proceeded to take testimony from the witnesses relative to the burglary charges. In the course of the testimony of Inmon and Kendrick, the assistant ...


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