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COMMONWEALTH v. BAKER (03/20/69)

decided: March 20, 1969.

COMMONWEALTH, APPELLANT,
v.
BAKER



Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of York County, Jan. T., 1968, No. 290, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Harper Baker.

COUNSEL

Nevin J. Trout, Assistant District Attorney, with him John F. Rauhauser, Jr., District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant.

J. Patrick Clark, Assistant Public Defender, for appellee.

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

Author: Wright

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 27]

Harper Baker was indicted by the Grand Jury of York County on Bill No. 290 January Sessions 1968, charging larceny of a Chevrolet automobile. A plea of not guilty was entered, and the case was called for trial before Honorable James E. Buckingham and a jury. At the conclusion of the Commonwealth's testimony, the trial judge sustained a demurrer to the evidence. The Commonwealth has appealed. The testimony

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 28]

    adduced at the trial is summarized in the opinion below as follows:

"The Defendant was charged with larceny of a 1954 light green 4-door Chevrolet sedan automobile. At the trial the owner of the car, Glenn Brown, testified that he had gone to work at his place of employment in the Borough of Hanover at 6:00 o'clock in the evening on March 28, 1968, and had parked his car in his company's parking lot. When he finished work at midnight he returned to the lot, found his car missing and reported it to the Hanover Borough Police. He had left the keys in the car and the car was unlocked. He had given no one permission to take the car. He next saw it later that night at a garage where he was told to go by the Penn Township Police. The car had been apparently damaged from rolling over.

"Commonwealth's next witness was James T. Cook, an officer of the Penn Township Police Department who testified that at about 10 minutes after midnight on March 29, 1968, he came upon a 1954 green 4-door Chevrolet sedan automobile about 2 1/2 miles from Hanover which was resting on its roof just off the road in a field. The accident had apparently happened just before Officer Cook arrived because he saw a large cloud of dust on the road. No one was in the car but he apprehended a man by the name of Robert Krichten who was walking away from the car. The officer talked to Krichten for a few minutes during which time he received a radio call from the Hanover Police Department informing him of the stolen car. The registration number of the wrecked car matched that of the stolen car. As a result of this radio call and his conversation with Krichten, Officer Cook took Krichten to Police Headquarters.

"The Commonwealth's next witness was Sgt. Donald C. Sponseller of the Hanover Borough Police who

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 29]

    testified that at approximately 6:00 A.M. on March 29, 1968, he went to the Defendant's apartment in Hanover and requested him to come to Police Headquarters. The sergeant did this because he suspected the Defendant of being involved in the theft of Mr. Brown's car, having obtained this information 'from other sources'. The sergeant then testified, out of the hearing of the jury, that at Police Headquarters he secured an oral statement from the Defendant in which the Defendant asked the sergeant if he 'could do something for him as far as making it easy on a sentence that he ...


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