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COMMONWEALTH v. REID (11/12/68)

decided: November 12, 1968.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
REID, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Cambria County, Sept. T., 1965, No. 9, in case of Commonwealth v. David Reid.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Young, for appellant.

William G. Shahade, Assistant District Attorney, and Ferinand F. Bionaz, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Mr. Justice Musmanno and Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Eagen

[ 432 Pa. Page 320]

On December 16, 1965, David Reid was convicted by a jury in Cambria County of voluntary manslaughter. A motion for a new trial was timely filed, but was later withdrawn. On December 27, 1965, a sentence of imprisonment of from six to twelve years was imposed. No appeal from the judgment was then entered.

In 1967 Reid filed a petition for post-conviction relief; from those proceedings there resulted an agreement between Reid's counsel and the district attorney that Reid would be permitted to file motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial with the same effect as if those motions had been timely filed. This agreement was approved by the court and an order was entered pursuant to it. Such motions were then filed and, after argument, the court en banc concluded that they were without merit and dismissed them. Reid now appeals to this Court.

First, Reid complains that the verdict was not supported by the evidence. An examination of the record clearly demonstrates that he is wrong.

An appellant in Reid's position, challenging an adverse verdict as being unsupported by the evidence, is bound by the fundamental test that, in resolving the

[ 432 Pa. Page 321]

    question, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. And, in deciding as to the sufficiency of the evidence, we accept as true all of the evidence, whether direct or circumstantial, upon which the jury could have based its verdict; and having done that, we evaluate it to determine if it is legally sufficient to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the crime of which he was convicted. Commonwealth v. Finnie, 415 Pa. 166, 202 A.2d 85 (1964).

The uncontradicted facts established by the Commonwealth and correctly related in the opinion of the lower court are as follows:

"On June 18th, 1965, police officers in the City of Johnstown, answering a call, found in an apartment bedroom at 312 Gray Avenue two bodies lying on the floor. One was defendant and the other the deceased, Mrs. Sidney Jones. Defendant's trousers and underwear were open and his privates exposed. Mrs. Jones' dress was up to the hip line and her privates exposed. Defendant was alive but unconscious. Mrs. Jones was dead. All windows in the apartment were locked and the front door was opened with a key which was obtained by the ...


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