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COMMONWEALTH v. MURRAY (09/16/65)

decided: September 16, 1965.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MURRAY, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, June T., 1963, No. 1712, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John Murray.

COUNSEL

Nathan L. Posner, with him Norman Leibovitz, Arthur Packel, and Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, for appellant.

Vincent C. Veldorale, Assistant District Attorney, with him Joseph M. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Jr., First Assistant District Attorney, and James C. Crumlish, Jr., District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Flood, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. Opinion by Montgomery, J.

Author: Montgomery

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 299]

The appellant-defendant, John Murray, was convicted by Judge Lefever, sitting without a jury, on charges of offering to bribe and bribing a corporate employe in violation of the Act of June 24, 1939, P. L. 872, § 667, 18 P.S. § 4667.

Defendant now contends (1) that the Philadelphia court did not have jurisdiction, (2) that there was an illegal interception of a telephone conversation the substance of which was for that reason erroneously admitted into evidence, (3) that the evidence did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged bribing was committed without the knowledge and consent

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 300]

    of the corporate employer, and (4) that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

Defendant, John Murray, had been employed as a superintendent by Lanston Monotype, Inc., Philadelphia, for several years prior to his resignation in 1963 to become employed as general manager of Summit Industries in Aspers, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Four months after his departure from Lanston Monotype defendant contacted Donald C. Haas, an employe of Lanston, over the telephone, the call being made from Adams County to Philadelphia. Haas testified that defendant stated: "Hiya Buddy . . . I want you to do me a favor, Donald . . . I want you to see if you can get me some prints . . . [of] the perforating machine in the paper department . . . [which are located] on the table by Alek Carroll . . . There is $25 in it for you if you do me the favor."

Haas promised to see what he could do about the matter. On the following Monday, the telephone conversation having taken place on Friday, Haas told his union shop steward and later Alfred Warner, superintendent of Lanston, about the telephone conversation. The next day Haas met Harry J. Morris, an investigator in the office of E. J. Charters Associates, private detectives, and a phone call was made to defendant at the Summit plant in Adams County. When defendant answered Haas conversed with him through a telephone on the desk before him while Morris listened on an extension telephone over which the call had been placed. Morris testified that a wire tap had been attached to the switchboard in his office prior to the call and that a recording had been made of the conversation. Haas told defendant that he had obtained the prints, and the home of Haas in Philadelphia was arranged as the meeting place for delivery the following evening. The meeting took place as scheduled and the prints were given to defendant for the agreed $25 consideration.

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 301]

On the question of jurisdiction it is noted that defendant does not question the right of the Philadelphia court to try him on the bribery charge. His argument is limited to the charge of offering to bribe. It is difficult to see a sufficient reason why the two charges should be considered separately since they are closely interwoven. However, we deem it unnecessary to consider them separately since we conclude that Philadelphia had jurisdiction in either case. Our cases support the statement found in 22 C.J.S. Criminal Law § 134, that "[a] person beyond the limits of a state or country putting in operation a force which produces a result constituting a crime within those limits, is as liable to indictment and punishment, if ...


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