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COMMONWEALTH v. ALBERT (06/13/62)

June 13, 1962

COMMONWEALTH
v.
ALBERT, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 129 April T., 1962, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace and General Jail Delivery of Allegheny County, April T., 1960, No. 71, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Richard Albert. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Louis C. Glasso, for appellant.

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

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

Author: Watkins

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 491]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from the judgment and sentence of the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace and General Jail Delivery for the County of Allegheny, entered on a verdict of a jury finding the defendant-appellant, Richard Albert, guilty of the charge of lottery; and from the order of the said court dismissing his motion for a new trial.

On March 10, 1960, Richard Albert, the appellant, was arrested on a charge of operating a lottery and convicted on September 5, 1961. After the refusal of his post trial motion he was sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution, a fine of $500 and undergo imprisonment for six to twelve months in the Allegheny County workhouse.

The facts necessary for the determination of the questions involved in this appeal are as follows: The defendant had been under police surveillance for one year prior to his arrest. The Hill Top News and Confectionery, which business place was located in the 1900 block of Webster Avenue, Pittsburgh, owned and operated by the defendant's brother, Fred Albert, was also under such surveillance. He was arrested when operating a white Cadillac automobile in the company of a colored man by the name of James Hamilton. The police testified that they had observed the defendant, carrying a brown shopping bag, and Hamilton coming out of a store owned by his brother and enter the front seat of the white Cadillac car. Upon stopping the car and taking the defendant and Hamilton into custody, an examination of the bag found on the front seat beside the defendant, disclosed it contained 965 number slips, indicating a total play of $2255.25. The defendant admitted being in and coming out of his brother's confectionery store. He testified that Hamilton, not he, had carried the bag from the store to the car and that he had only agreed to give Hamilton a ride up the

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 492]

    hill. He admitted that he knew what number slips were because he played the numbers.

He complains that the court below erred in admitting into evidence prior lottery convictions of the defendant and testimony concerning such crimes and erred in permitting the prosecution to introduce testimony of defendant's alleged association with number writers and other persons under investigation.

On direct examination the defendant testified that he did not know what was in the shopping bag; that he did not have any knowledge concerning the operation of this particular lottery; that the incident resulting in his arrest was not a matter of design but of accident. On cross-examination the questions were directed toward the issue of knowledge and so he was asked how long he knew Hamilton and answered, three or four years; that he knew that he worked at his brother's store. When asked if he knew what work Hamilton ...


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