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COMMONWEALTH v. CHILSON (09/12/68)

decided: September 12, 1968.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CHILSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Quarter Sessions of Bradford County, Jan. T., 1967, No. 7, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Paul Junior Chilson.

COUNSEL

W. Marshall Dawsey, for appellant.

Maurice L. Epstein, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Hannum

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 213]

The appellant was arrested for assault and battery. The complainant was a Game Protector who had met appellant in a woodland near appellant's home and had asked appellant to produce his hunting license. Appellant then said he had misplaced it, whereupon

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 214]

    complainant took possession of the appellant's rabbit and shotgun and permitted appellant to return to his home. In a short time the complainant came to the door of the house carrying the rabbit and shotgun. The manner of his carrying the rabbit and gun was a matter of dispute, appellant and his witnesses asserting that complainant held them in his left hand while carrying a blackjack around his right wrist, complainant asserting that he carried one in each hand and had no blackjack. Complainant told appellant's father he wanted to speak to appellant, who then came to the door. Complainant testified that appellant hit him without warning and a fracas ensued. Appellant testified that complainant hit him across his temple with a blackjack without provocation. There is no doubt that a fight ensued and the only question of fact to be resolved was "Who was the aggressor"? The jury believed the complainant and convicted the defendant.

During the course of the trial appellant's counsel asked him: "Q. Now can you think of any reason why he would come to the door and that way and after you had exchanged a few words strike you over the head with a blackjack?" The objection to this question was properly sustained. However, later in his examination, the defendant was asked: "Q. Had you had any previous difficulty with Mr. Watson?" The objection to this question was also sustained.

At the conclusion of the defendant's case, his counsel made the following offer of proof: "I want to recall Mr. Max Chilson [the defendant's father] for the purpose of showing that there was bad blood between the defendant and the Commonwealth's witness and that the Commonwealth's witness had made a threat to 'get' the defendant." After a conference at side bar, the objection of the Commonwealth to this offer was sustained.

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 215]

The jury found the appellant guilty of assault and battery. The defendant filed a motion for a new trial, asserting that the trial judge erred in making the above rulings. After his motion for new trial was dismissed, the appellant was sentenced to pay the costs and be ...


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