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COMMONWEALTH v. HARTLE (03/19/63)

March 19, 1963

COMMONWEALTH
v.
HARTLE, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 442, Oct. T., 1962, from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Union County, March T., 1962, No. 2, in case of Commonwealth v. Robert A. Hartle. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Carl Rice, for appellant.

W. Roger Fetter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Wright

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 319]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

At or about eleven o'clock in the evening of June 16, 1961, on Route 45 in Union County, there was a violent collision between a Chevrolet automobile operated

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 320]

    by Robert A. Hartle, in which Dean Neese was a passenger, and a Valiant automobile operated by Earl M. Maurer, in which his wife, Barbara P. Maurer, and his parents, Ernest L. Maurer and Beulah E. Maurer, were passengers. As a result of injuries sustained in this collision four persons died, namely, Dean Neese, Earl M. Maurer, Ernest L. Maurer, and Beulah E. Maurer. On March 12, 1962, the Grand Jury indicted Hartle on Bill No. 33 September Sessions 1961 containing four counts, each charging involuntary manslaughter. The case was tried in the Court of Oyer and Terminer at No. 2 March Term 1962. Hartle entered a plea of not guilty. At the conclusion of the Commonwealth's case, counsel for the defendant filed a demurrer to the evidence, which the trial judge overruled. The defendant then rested without offering any testimony. The jury returned a verdict of guilty. Motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial were dismissed, and sentence was imposed. This appeal followed. The factual situation appears in the following excerpt from the opinion below:

"The defendant being 16 years of age at the time of the alleged offense on June 16, 1961, and a resident of Woodward, Centre County, Pennsylvania, where he resided with his parents, this Court on September 13, 1961, certified the case to the Juvenile Court of Centre County for disposition thereof and such Court, R. PAUL CAMPBELL, President Judge, on October 24, 1961, recertified the case back to Union County for the reason that the defendant desired to enter a plea of not guilty and to stand trial. This Court on November 21, 1961, certified the case to the District Attorney ...

"Hartle was visiting at Millmont in Union County the evening of June 16, 1961, and was operating a 1952 Chevy sedan belonging to his father with Dean Neese, a friend of his, as a passenger. Another friend of the defendant, Delbert Alters, was also in Millmont that

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 321]

    evening and Alters was operating another car. The two boys, Hartle and Alters, apparently decided to start toward their homes at the same time, both living near one another in Centre County. The road they traveled took them from Hartleton west on Route 45, a two-lane macadam highway, toward the state ...


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