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COMMONWEALTH v. TSELEPIS (06/13/62)

June 13, 1962

COMMONWEALTH
v.
TSELEPIS, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 136, April T., 1962, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Beaver County, Aug. T., 1961, No. 15, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Aristotle Tselepis. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Richard P. Steward, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Indictment charging defendant with setting up a lottery and conducting a lottery. Before SOHN, J.

Demurrer sustained as to charge of setting up a lottery; verdict of guilty on charge of conducting a lottery and judgment of sentence entered thereon. Defendant appealed.

James B. Ceris, with him Samuel L. Goldstein, for appellant.

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

Author: Montgomery

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 451]

OPINION BY MONTGOMERY, J.

Appellant Aristotle Tselepis appeals from judgment of sentence following a verdict of guilty by a jury on the charge of "conducting a lottery", and the refusal of his motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment.

The verdict established the following facts, viz.:

Having been "tipped" that defendant was conducting a lottery at his confectionery, lunch, and patent medicine business in the Borough of Aliquippa, Beaver County, and that number slips would be found in an aspirin or Anacin box on the shelf of his store, County Detectives Mihalic and Meskow visited the premises at 6:55 A.M. on May 26, 1961, which was about the time the shifts changed at the nearby Jones & Laughlin steel mill. They remained on the premises one hour and forty-five minutes. When they first entered they observed defendant, who was behind the counter, receive money and a slip of paper from a man on the other side. When Chief Meskow tried to grab the paper defendant avoided him and put his fist to his mouth. A search of defendant failed to reveal the paper. Later, undated number slips, one showing 23 bets and the other 38 bets, were found in an Anacin box on a shelf behind the cash register near where defendant was standing; several people entered the store and looked at defendant with uncertainty, bought nothing and left; while the defendant was serving a colored lady, who had waited for five minutes although no other customers were being served, she emptied her purse and put something in her mouth, which was not recovered although Chief Meskow attempted to do so; five phone calls came in which were answered by the detectives, who received information from three of the callers that they wished to place bets of various amounts on listed numbers (of the other two, one asked for the waitress Marjorie and hung up, and the other hung up immediately).

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 452]

In this appeal defendant questions the sufficiency of the evidence, the correctness of the court's ruling in receiving into evidence undated number slips, testimony as to "suspicions" and alleged hearsay evidence including the "tip" received by the detectives, and the phone calls. He contends further that the court erred in its charge on the sufficiency of the evidence in failing to state that the jury was required to find that defendant was "substantially" concerned with a lottery, and that it need not find the crime to have been ...


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