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COMMONWEALTH v. DONATELLI (03/17/64)

March 17, 1964

COMMONWEALTH
v.
DONATELLI, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 23, Feb. T., 1964, from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Luzerne County, June T., 1963, No. 68, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Leonard J. Donatelli, Jr. Judgment of sentence affirmed.

COUNSEL

Sebastian U. Colbassani, with him John M. Dudrick, for appellant.

Ivo Giannini, First Assistant District Attorney, with him Bernard J. Hendrzak, Assistant District Attorney, and Stephen A. Teller, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Woodside

[ 202 Pa. Super. Page 567]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from a sentence imposed for burglary after motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial were denied. The defendant has been convicted after a jury trial.

Two police officers testified that on March 11, 1963, the defendant had voluntarily appeared before them at the Blakely Barracks to deny participation in burglaries with which his name had been connected. He took a lie detector test which supported his denial of complicity in any of these burglaries, all of which had been committed in Old Forge. After further questioning

[ 202 Pa. Super. Page 568]

    by the officers, however, the defendant admitted that in January or February, 1961, he had participated in a burglary by acting as a lookout while two accomplices, Amantea and Sciandra, entered a doctor's home in West Pittston through a cellar window. He said large floral bushes, which he identified as laurel, were around the cellar window. As West Pittston was in another police district, the officers who were questioning the defendant knew nothing of a burglary at a doctor's home in that community until after they checked with the local police. At the trial, evidence was introduced that between February 18 and February 23, 1961, a Doctor Murphy's home in West Pittston was entered through a cellar window and that large bushes of rhododendron, sometimes known as "great laurel," surrounded the window through which entry was made. The house was ransacked, and over $1000 worth of jewelry stolen. No other burglary of a doctor's home was reported to police in West Pittston during January or February 1961. At the trial the defendant denied participation in the burglary and denied making any statement about it to the police officers.

In considering a motion in arrest of judgment, the court must ignore the evidence of the defendant and his witnesses which the jury had the privilege of rejecting, and must accept as correct all the evidence which supports the verdict, whether offered by the Commonwealth or the defendant, and must draw from the evidence such reasonable inferences as will support the verdict. Commonwealth v. Wright, 383 Pa. 532, 536, 119 A.2d 492 (1956); Commonwealth v. Ornato, 191 Pa. Superior Ct. 581, 583, 159 A.2d 223 (1960).

The evidence establishes that there was a burglary in West Pittston and that the defendant participated in a burglary there. The jury could infer from the evidence that the burglary in which the defendant ...


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