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COMMONWEALTH v. WALKER (12/16/66)

decided: December 16, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
WALKER, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, July T., 1961, Nos. 656, 657, and 658, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Culber Walker.

COUNSEL

John W. Packel, Assistant Defender, with him Melvin Dildine, Assistant Defender, and Herman I. Pollock, Defender, for appellant.

John A. McMenamin, Assistant District Attorney, with him Alan J. Davis, Assistant District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 149]

This appeal is from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County entered upon the conviction of the defendant, Culber Walker, of conspiracy, assault and battery, aggravated assault and battery, and aggravated robbery before Judge Reed sitting without a jury. Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were denied and the appellant was sentenced from one to ten years imprisonment on one indictment. Sentence was suspended on the others.

The facts were as follows: On Saturday, July 1, 1961, about 4 o'clock p.m. two men entered the store of Harry Cohen and placed a gun at his back. As Cohen turned he was hit on the head with the butt of the gun. Blood spewed from his wound. Beatrice Cohen, his wife, was also knocked down by one of the robbers. The masked robbers took $200 and fled. Neither Cohen nor his wife could identify them. There is evidence that three men fled in the getaway car. Jacqueline Moore, a bystander, had passed the car prior to the incident of the men coming out of the store and saw a man peering into the engine of a light colored Chevrolet parked outside the Cohen store. She noticed that the car had New York license plates. When she saw the masked men leave the store, one of them brandishing a gun, she called the license number to another bystander, Rev. E. L. Richo, who wrote it down and later supplied it to the police.

At about 8 o'clock p.m. of the same day the appellant approached two policemen in a patrol car. He

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 150]

    asked them if the police were interested in a New York white Chevrolet, saying that he had heard a broadcast to that effect and as he was in Philadelphia for a good time he did not want to be bothered. The officers in question called in for knowledge of the broadcast and were advised that the car was not wanted for anything. The appellant showed the officers his owner's card and gave them his license number, which coincided with the license number given to the police of the getaway car outside the Cohen premises. Among his identification cards was a membership card in the Woodbine Club, located at Twelfth Street, south of Master. The officers did not detain him but later learned that a New York car of the same license number and description was wanted as a result of the Cohen robbery. At about 11 o'clock p.m. they went to the Woodbine Club where they found the appellant in the company of a woman. At the time the police found them at the entrance of the club they noticed that he handed something to the woman and she left and didn't return for some time. They took him to the police station for investigation and upon frisking him found three bills in his possession stained with human blood. The police asked him how they became so stained and he replied that his thumb had been injured. An examination of the thumb disclosed no sign of injury.

The appellant first contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the verdict. The evidence was circumstantial. None of the witnesses were able to identify the appellant nor able to describe their appearance because of the effective masks they wore. The evidence of the Commonwealth did prove that the appellant, a New Yorker, was in Philadelphia on the day of the robbery; that his car was outside of the Cohen store; that his car provided transportation for the robbers; that the robbers were seen getting into the car; that the victim of the robbery and assault bled profusely so

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 151]

    that there was blood everywhere; that bills stained with human blood were in his possession after the robbery and that he gave a false explanation to account for the blood; that he voluntarily approached the police after the ...


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