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COMMONWEALTH v. PIPERATA (09/11/69)

decided: September 11, 1969.

COMMONWEALTH, APPELLANT,
v.
PIPERATA



Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Northampton County, Nov. T., 1967, No. 210, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph Piperata.

COUNSEL

Charles H. Spaziani, District Attorney, with him Michael V. Franciosa, First Assistant District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Renald S. Baratta, for appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 326]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from an Order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Northampton County granting the motion of the defendant-appellee, Joseph Piperata, in arrest of judgment, after his conviction of bookmaking and pool-selling, discharging the defendant and dismissing the case against him.

The defendant was indicted for the offenses of pool-selling and bookmaking under the Act of 1939, June 24, P. L. 872, ยง 607, 18 P.S. 4607.

The betting transaction took place in the defendant's poolroom in Easton, Pennsylvania and involved off-track wagering on horses at various tracks in the United States. Edward Young, the Commonwealth's witness, described how he went to the poolroom five or six times between January and March of 1967 for the purpose of betting on horses. The bets were in the amounts of $2 and $4. He selected the horse, named the track where it was running and the defendant took his money and deposited it in a box or drawer. We agree with the Commonwealth that it is unusual to obtain such direct evidence of off-track betting from a bettor. The defense admitted receiving the wagers but had explanations which the jury evidently did not believe.

In motions in arrest of judgment, the Commonwealth is entitled to all reasonable inferences arising from the evidence. The effect of the motion is to admit all facts that the Commonwealth's evidence tends to prove. Com. v. Moore, 398 Pa. 198, 157 A.2d 65 (1959).

The Court must ignore evidence of the defendant and his witnesses which the jury had the privilege of rejecting and must accept as correct all of the Commonwealth's evidence which supports the verdict and

[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 327]

    must draw from all the evidence such reasonable inferences as will support the verdict. Com. v. Donatelli, 202 Pa. Superior Ct. 565, 198 A.2d 338 (1964).

The court below held that the defendant cannot be guilty of the offenses of bookmaking and pool-selling under the statute unless there is evidence by the Commonwealth that the defendant recorded the bets or issued written ...


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