Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, March T., 1970, No. 82, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Jane Sharon Mobley.
John T. Grigsby, III, for appellant.
Michael Joseph Melody, Jr., First Assistant District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen.
This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence imposed upon appellant, Jane Sharon Mobley, following a jury verdict finding her guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
The salient facts in the record are as follows:
Appellant and Charles Grasty, while unmarried, lived together as man and wife from 1961 until Grasty's death in 1970. On March 17, 1970, appellant entered a house in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where Grasty and another woman were staying and a controversy ensued over his relationship with this other woman. During a fight which followed, appellant stabbed Grasty with a knife and Grasty died from this wound.
At trial, appellant took the witness stand on her own behalf and admitted the stabbing, but claimed she acted in self-defense. She said upon entering the house and confronting Grasty about his relationship with the other woman he became angry, grabbed her about the throat and pushed her against the kitchen table. Grasty then came at her with a pistol in his hand. Appellant stated a knife was on the table and she seized it and stabbed him in the chest. As part of her testimony, she recited the stormy relationship between herself and
the deceased. She stated from 1961 until January 1970, the deceased had beaten her, pistol whipped her, and accosted her with a razor blade on at least ten different occasions. She said the attacks had caused her to lose a child on one occasion, and to be hospitalized on at least four different occasions.
Immediately following appellant's testimony, the defense attempted to call a person with the medical records from the Coatesville Hospital and the following ensued: "Mr. Talerico: May we have an offer of proof on this witness, your Honor? The Court: Why, sure. Mr. Grigsby: By this witness here, this is from the medical records of Coatesville Hospital, and I intend to prove by this witness that she did go to the hospital on these occasions, April, '64, September, '66, January, '68, April, '68, August, '68 and March of '69, and that work was done, treatment was done. Mr. Talerico: The Commonwealth objects, your Honor. There is no relationship between those dates -- The Court: No, that is a collateral matter. Mr. Talerico: -- and the testimony that was given here, so we would object. The Court: All right. Your objection is sustained."
The ruling is assigned as error assertedly because it precluded the appellant from substantiating her testimony she had been previously severely assaulted by the deceased, and was in reasonable fear of her life at the time she stabbed Grasty. An examination of the record shows the dates on the hospital records substantially correspond with the ...