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COMMONWEALTH v. INGRAM (10/09/70)

decided: October 9, 1970.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
INGRAM, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1967, No. 1544, in case of Commonwealth v. Lloyd Ingram.

COUNSEL

Harold Cramer, with him Alexander Brodsky, and Mesirov, Gelman, Jaffe & Levin, for appellant.

Michael M. Baylson, Assistant District Attorney, with him James D. Crawford, Assistant District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell. Mr. Justice Jones concurs in the result.

Author: Bell

[ 440 Pa. Page 240]

On the evening of April 24, 1967, at approximately 8:30 P.M., Huriel Hildreth, the deceased, and Eugene Butler entered Margie's Bar at Second Street and Allegheny Avenue, in the City of Philadelphia. According to the testimony of Butler, an eyewitness to the homicide, they entered the bar so Hildreth could make a long-distance telephone call. The telephone was located in the rear of the bar, adjacent to a pool table where defendant-appellant Ingram and others were playing

[ 440 Pa. Page 241]

    pool. Hildreth was making his telephone call when appellant requested him to move because Hildreth was blocking appellant from taking his next shot. Hildreth refused. Appellant walked over to the bar, grabbed a beer bottle, broke it, came back, and with its jagged edges struck Hildreth on the side of his face, causing him to fall off the chair in which he was seated. Appellant went back to the bar and broke another beer bottle and returned and struck and slashed the other side of Hildreth's face while he was still on the floor. Appellant returned to the bar a third time and broke a third bottle, and was about to resume his attack on Hildreth, but was stopped by the bartender and other patrons.

Butler was finally able to get Hildreth to his feet and immediately took him to the hospital. Hildreth died in the hospital that morning at 5:00 A.M. At the autopsy, the Commonwealth proved that death was caused by the severing of Hildreth's jugular vein by a jagged instrument.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree. Appellant then filed post-trial motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment. The lower Court denied these motions and sentenced appellant to a term of not less than five years nor more than fifteen years. From the judgment of sentence, defendant took this appeal.

Motion for a New Trial

Appellant raises two issues as grounds for a new trial: (1) whether it was error for the lower Court not to charge the jury that it could consider the degree of appellant's voluntary intoxication on the question of whether he had the requisite state of mind to have the legal malice which is necessary for first- or second-degree murder, and, if not, whether he could be guilty of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter; and (2)

[ 440 Pa. Page 242]

    whether the voir dire rule or doctrine enunciated in Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510, is applicable when appellant was sentenced to a term of ...


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