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COMMONWEALTH v. DIDIO (03/20/68)

decided: March 20, 1968.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
DIDIO, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Lancaster County, March T., 1966, Nos. 32 and 33, and June T., 1966, No. 71, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. William A. Didio.

COUNSEL

David Berger, with him H. Laddie Montague, Jr., and Cohen, Shapiro, Berger, Polisher and Cohen, for appellant.

Clarence C. Newcomer, First Assistant District Attorney, with him Wilson Bucher, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. (Ervin, P. J., and Wright, J., absent). Opinion by Watkins, J. Montgomery, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Watkins

[ 212 Pa. Super. Page 52]

These are appeals by the defendant-appellant, William A. Didio, from the judgments of sentence of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lancaster County, after

[ 212 Pa. Super. Page 53]

    conviction of the crimes of larceny, arson and conspiracy; and from the denial of motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial.

The record shows that the appellant is a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and operates a farm there owned by his family; that he employed one, William C. Bounds, to manage the Didio farm; that on a number of occasions the appellant and Bounds visited a Lancaster County farm owned by Melvin Kolb, to buy cattle; that the adjoining property was owned by Candace L. Newswanger and a property dispute existed between the neighbors in that Kolb complained that an almost worthless barn infringed upon his land; and that the appellant and Bounds offered to get rid of the building for Kolb.

On July 22, 1965, the appellant and Bounds went to the Kolb farm at night; and that the fire was set that night by the appellant and Bounds. The record further shows that on March 16, 1965, the appellant and Bounds went to the New Holland Supply Company and took certain articles; and that on October 29, 1965, they again visited Lancaster and took 20 rolls of barbed wire from the Agway Company.

Bounds confessed to the charges and was sentenced. He testified for the Commonwealth against the appellant and was uncorroborated, as the court stated in the charge, "because if you don't believe William Bounds you would have to find the defendant not guilty because there isn't enough credible evidence besides that of William Bounds to find him guilty of anything."

The defendant consistently denied that he had committed arson or that he had taken part in stealing articles as charged. He testified that Bounds had threatened to frame him so that Bounds and the appellant's ...


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