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COMMONWEALTH v. GOOSLIN (03/19/63)

March 19, 1963

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GOOSLIN, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 196, Jan. T., 1962, from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery of Chester County, June T., 1960, No. 287, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. George Gooslin. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

John E. Stively, with him Stively and Mitman, for appellant.

A. Alfred Delduco, Assistant District Attorney, with him Samuel J. Halpern, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 410 Pa. Page 286]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BELL

The defendant, George Gooslin, was tried for murder of his wife, Sadie Gooslin. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree. Defendant's motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial were overruled and he was sentenced to pay a fine of $2,500, plus costs, and to serve not less than 10 or more than 20 years in the State Correctional Institution at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thereafter, defendant appealed the judgment to this Court.

Defendant contends: (1) the trial Court erred in overruling his demurrer; (2) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and his motion in arrest of judgment should be granted; and (3) the trial Court erred in overruling his motion for a new trial because the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. Defendant places his main reliance on the second contention.

In Commonwealth v. Burns, 409 Pa. 619, 187 A.2d 552, the Court said (page 633): "'The test of the sufficiency of the evidence - irrespective of whether it is direct or circumstantial - is whether accepting as true all the evidence upon which, if believed, the jury could properly have based its verdict, it is sufficient in law to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged, i.e., the murder of Max Kravitz: Commonwealth v. Sauders, 390 Pa. 379,

[ 410 Pa. Page 287134]

A.2d 890; Commonwealth v. Boden, 399 Pa. 298, 159 A.2d 894; Commonwealth v. Homeyer, 373 Pa. 150, 94 A.2d 743; Commonwealth ex rel. Garrison v. Burke, 378 Pa. 344, 106 A.2d 587; Commonwealth v. Kloiber, 378 Pa. 412, 106 A.2d 820; Commonwealth v. Bolish, 381 Pa. 500, 133 A.2d 464; Commonwealth v. Lowry, 374 Pa. 594, 98 A.2d 733; Commonwealth v. Blanchard, 345 Pa. 289, 26 A.2d 303; Commonwealth v. Bishop, 285 Pa. 49, 131 A. 657; Commonwealth v. Danz, 211 Pa. 507, 60 A. 1070.

"'In Commonwealth v. Phillips, 372 Pa. 223, 93 A.2d 455, the Court said (page 277): "It has become customary for a defendant in his argument before an Appellate Court to base his claims and contentions upon his own testimony or that of his witnesses even after a jury has found him guilty. This, of course, is basic error. After a plea or verdict of guilty, 'we accept as true all of the Commonwealth's evidence upon which, if believed, the jury could have properly based its verdict: Com. v. Blanchard, 345 Pa. 289, 296, 26 A.2d 303, 306 (1942). See also Com. v. Karmendi, 328 Pa. 321, 324, 195 A. 62, 63 (1937); Com. v. Watkins, 298 Pa. 165, 168, 148 A. 65, 66 (1929); Com. v. Carelli, 281 Pa. 602, 605, 127 A. 305, 306 (1925); Com. v. Priest, 272 Pa. 549, 550, 116 A. 403 (1922); Com. v. Diaco, 268 Pa. 305, 306, 11 A. 879, 880 (1920).' ..."'"

In Commonwealth v. Kravitz, 400 Pa. 198, 161 A.2d 861, the Court said (page 208): "'... "... Proof by eye witnesses or direct evidence of the corpus delicti or of identity or of the commission by the defendant of the crime charged is not necessary. '... It is clearly settled that a man may be convicted on circumstantial evidence alone, and a criminal intent may be inferred by the jury from facts and circumstances which are of such a nature as to prove defendant's ...


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