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COMMONWEALTH v. VECCHIOLLI ET AL. (11/17/66)

decided: November 17, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
VECCHIOLLI ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Carbon County, June T., 1965, No. 26, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Frank Vecchiolli, alias Frank Rossatti, et al.

COUNSEL

Joyce Ullman, for appellants.

George T. McKinley, Assistant District Attorney, with him John Deutsch, First Assistant District Attorney, and George Kerestes, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Ervin

[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 485]

The defendants, Frank and Libby Vecchiolli, who are husband and wife, were found guilty by a jury of the crime of assault with intent to rob. After the disposition of the motion for new trial, listing a total of 52 reasons therefor, sentences of imprisonment were imposed and the defendants have appealed therefrom. No fault was found as to the charge of the court and all of the defendants' points for charge were affirmed.

The victim, Mary Chaplinsky, a 62-year old woman, testified that on September 10, 1964 the two defendants gained access to her home some time between nine and ten o'clock in the morning by telling her that they

[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 486]

    were friends of her son and that he had suggested that they stop to see her for a social visit if they were in town. She testified that after entering the house they assaulted her and that she screamed and they continued to beat her. She also testified that Libby pulled a gun out of her pocketbook and was holding it upon her and threatened to kill her while Frank continued to beat her. Her teeth were knocked out, her glasses were knocked off and she was left upon the floor of her kitchen when the neighbors came in and caused the defendants to flee. She was immediately taken to the hospital where she remained from Thursday morning until Saturday. Dr. Erskine testified that she had bruises and swelling involving the entire left side of her face; her nose was flattened and she was bleeding from her nose and also from her mouth and she had a bruise on her right knee which was quite painful. The defendants presented a defense of alibi. Mrs. Chaplinsky, the victim, in open court identified both of the defendants as her assailants.

In addition to the testimony of the victim, the Commonwealth presented one Dolores Shapiro, who admitted in direct examination that she was serving a sentence in the Carbon County prison for the crime of burglary and larceny of the Seaboldt home in Carbon County. This crime was committed in conjunction with George Bricker. She further testified that she first met the Vecchiollis in August of 1964 with George Bricker in a room at the Americana Motel in Philadelphia and that she then later, some time in August 1964, met the Vecchiollis at her home in Philadelphia when George and Diane Bricker and Libby and Frank Vecchiolli drove there. She was permitted to testify under objection that "They said they had just returned from upstate where they had been involved in a burglary." She also met the Vecchiollis several times after that in August 1964 when they came to visit her

[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 487]

    in her home in Philadelphia. On September 9, on one of these occasions, she testified, the defendants were at her home and they planned to rob Mrs. Chaplinsky in Palmerton, Carbon County, and it was decided that the defendants would go early the next morning to Carbon County and go ahead with the plan. She testified that the defendants stayed at her home that evening and arose very early, approximately six a.m. the next morning, and left her home about seven o'clock in the morning. She described how they dressed. She also testified that later on in the afternoon of September 10, 1964, Libby Vecchiolli called her on the telephone and told her, "Don't talk, things went wrong. I will call you later." She also testified that in the early part of the evening of September 10, 1964 the defendants both ...


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