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COMMONWEALTH v. TAYLOR (04/15/71)

decided: April 15, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
TAYLOR, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Aug. T., 1968, No. 286, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Milton Taylor.

COUNSEL

William P. Stewart and John W. Packel, Assistant Defenders, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

Deborah E. Glass and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J. Jacobs, J., concurs in the result. Dissenting Opinion by Spaulding, J. Hoffman, J., joins in this dissenting opinion.

Author: Watkins

[ 219 Pa. Super. Page 347]

Appellant, Milton Taylor, was tried by a jury on October 10, 1969, and found guilty of aggravated robbery. A motion for a new trial was filed, argued and denied. On June 18, 1970, Milton Taylor was sentenced to a term of not less than 4 nor more than 10 years. This appeal to the Superior Court followed.

The prosecuting witness, Morris Katz, testified that on July 12, 1968, he drove to the Provident National Bank at 5th and Spring Garden Streets, Philadelphia, to make a deposit in the bank. He parked the car and while walking to the bank from the parking lot with the deposit package containing about $2,000.00 in cash and checks, he was grabbed and assaulted by three men in an attempt to rob him of the deposit. Mr. Katz identified Milton Taylor as one of the three men involved in the assault.

Captain Alphonso Giordano of the Philadelphia Police Department testified that he was cruising in the vicinity of the bank at the time in an unmarked police car and saw the attempted robbery. He was able to capture one of the attackers and identified Milton Taylor as one of the other two men who fled in a tan Pontiac automobile.

[ 219 Pa. Super. Page 348]

Captain Giordano testified that following the incident, he conducted an investigation and traced the Pontiac automobile to a Milton Taylor. He then testified that he sent for all of the "mug shots" of every Milton Taylor.

Counsel for appellant, Milton Taylor, objected to the reference to "mug shots" and made a motion for a mistrial, which was denied. The refusal of the trial judge to grant a mistrial was the subject of appellant's motion for a new trial and is the principle issue involved in this appeal.

Appellant contends that the mere reference to "mug shots" of every Milton Taylor in the Police Chief's testimony, tended to show that this appellant was guilty of the commission of other crimes and offenses at other times and, therefore, a new trial must be granted.

No mug shots were offered into evidence, in fact it was never stated that mug shots of appellant were in existence or viewed to identify or apprehend appellant. The trial court instructed the ...


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