Appeal from judgments of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1947, Nos. 191 and 192, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. William Kern Hallowell.
Louis Lipschitz, for appellant.
Louis A. Perez, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, with him Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, James D. Crawford, Deputy 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. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the decision of this case. Mr. Justice Jones would not grant new trials but would instead remand for evidentiary hearings in both cases. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell.
Appellant William Hallowell was tried separately for two murders in 1947, and in each case he was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment. Before us today is a direct appeal from these judgments of sentence. Upon reviewing the record, we hold that appellant must be afforded new trials by virtue of the introduction into evidence in each case of an involuntary incriminating statement.
The facts for the most part are not in dispute.
Around midnight on the evening of April 22, 1947, appellant stole an automobile parked in front of 477 Locust Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Approximately a half an hour later he was observed searching the stolen vehicle in the 4900 block of Smedley Street by Mrs. Margaret Curren. Being suspicious of appellant's behavior, she summoned the police, and officers Anderson and Hewitt responded to her call. As these two officers approached the scene, appellant sped away in the car. Anderson and Hewitt, at first alone and later joined by other police cars, gave chase over a distance of six miles. During this period a number of shots were fired but no one was injured.
The automobile chase ended when the vehicle driven by appellant failed to negotiate a turn. He immediately abandoned it and attempted to flee on foot. By this time numerous police cars had arrived at the intersection. Anderson and Hewitt continued pursuit in their squad car, while Officers Quigley and McGinty
ran after appellant on foot. Moments later Anderson and Hewitt alighted from their car and joined their fellow officers. Appellant fired several shots at his pursuers, and the police returned the fire. In the course of this exchange, Officer Hewitt was fatally shot.
Immediately thereafter, Officer Quigley overtook appellant and both of them engaged in a violent hand to hand struggle. By the time other officers succeeded in parting the pair, it was discovered that Quigley had also been fatally shot. The bullet was never recovered.
Appellant was taken to the hospital with three bullet wounds in his back and one each in his right arm and shoulder. He had also been bludgeoned with a blackjack by at least two other officers. At the hospital, approximately a half hour after his arrest and while being given medical treatment for his several wounds, appellant was interrogated by Detective Thomas McDonald. Appellant admitted to McDonald having stolen the car and, in addition, confessed to the ...