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COMMONWEALTH v. JACKAMOWICZ (06/28/71)

decided: June 28, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
JACKAMOWICZ, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Nov. T., 1967, No. 496, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Frank Jackamowicz.

COUNSEL

John W. Packel, Assistant Defender, with him Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, with him Stephen J. Margolin and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Eagen

[ 443 Pa. Page 314]

The appellant, Frank Jackamowicz, was tried before the same jury in Philadelphia on four separate indictments.

[ 443 Pa. Page 315]

The first thereof charged that on September 5, 1967, Jackamowicz feloniously murdered Mary Corde, the operator of a rooming house in which he and his wife resided. The second indictment charged him with voluntary manslaughter, or that on the same date he "unlawfully killed" Mary Corde. The third indictment charged that on the same date Jackamowicz robbed Mary Corde after committing violence upon her. The fourth indictment charged that on the same date he committed an aggravated robbery on the person of Warren Russell, the caretaker of the Corde rooming house. The jury found Jackamowicz guilty on the voluntary manslaughter indictment and not guilty on the three other indictments. After a prison sentence of 5 to 12 years was imposed on the manslaughter conviction, Jackamowicz appealed. We reverse and order a new trial, because we are convinced that a confession used against the appellant at trial was secured by the police under such circumstances that its evidentiary use should have been denied.*fn1

In pertinent part the record discloses the following.

A Philadelphia police officer, Charles Umbrell, a son of Mary Corde, heard of the assault on his mother shortly after it occurred. Together with Police Lieutenant Thomas Sturkey, he visited the Corde rooming house and by questioning those on the premises, learned that Jackamowicz and his wife had been seen having a dispute with Mary Corde shortly before she was found suffering from injuries apparently caused by an assault. The two officers then visited the hospital to see the victim and later proceeded to seek out the Jackamowiczes. About 2:00 a.m. on September 6th,

[ 443 Pa. Page 316]

    the wanted were found in a local bar and admittedly evidenced signs of having been drinking. They were handcuffed and transported to a police detective headquarters. About 4:30 a.m., Jackamowicz was transferred to Homicide Division Headquarters and on September 6th, he was placed in the Philadelphia Detention Center.

Some time after his arrest, but before his arrival at the Detention Center, Jackamowicz was severely assaulted. After his arrival at the Detention Center, he was placed in the prison hospital and the prison physician described his condition on admission in the following manner: ". . . he had multiple bruises of the face and his nose was swollen and he had a right subconjunctival hemorrhage of ...


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