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COMMONWEALTH v. FRISBY (03/16/73)

decided: March 16, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
FRISBY, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Dec. T., 1970, Nos. 893, 895 and 896, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ernest Frisby.

COUNSEL

Ronald J. Klimas, with him Eckell, Sparks, Vadino, Auerbach & Monte, for appellant.

Anna I. Vadino and Vram Nedurian, Jr., Assistant District Attorneys, with them Ralph B. D'Iorio, Assistant District Attorney, and Stephen J. McEwen, Jr., District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien.

Author: O'brien

[ 451 Pa. Page 17]

On July 9, 1970, at about 11:30 a.m., William Nowak, proprietor of a grocery store located at 631 Morton Avenue, in the city of Chester, was stabbed during the perpetration of a robbery. The victim told police

[ 451 Pa. Page 18]

    that he was handed a robbery note, but before he could do anything, he was stabbed. Mr. Nowak was removed to a hospital and died on July 16, 1970.

Police officers investigating the incident obtained information that appellant was seen writing a note shortly before the robbery. Police then proceeded to Chester High School to obtain enrollment cards of various students, among them appellant. At the school, the officers compared the printed writing on the note found at the robbery with that of the enrollment cards. Based on information which the police obtained from informants, relating to appellant's plans to rob a store, and the officers' opinion that the handwriting on the note matched appellant's enrollment card, police obtained a juvenile petition from the Chester Juvenile Department charging appellant with the offense in question.

Appellant was then arrested, made an incriminating statement, and was certified to stand trial as an adult. Trial before a jury was held, and appellant was convicted of murder in the first degree, robbery and larceny. The jury imposed a life sentence.

Appellant first alleges that the court below did not have jurisdiction to try him for robbery and burglary since he was not above the age of fourteen. Appellant relies upon the Act of June 2, 1933, P. L. 1433, § 18, 11 P.S. § 260, which reads in part: "Whenever any child, being above the age of fourteen years, has been held by any magistrate . . . the judge of the juvenile court having jurisdiction, if, in his opinion, the interests of the State require a prosecution of such case on an indictment, may certify the same to the district attorney of the county, who shall thereupon proceed with the case in the same manner as though the jurisdiction of the juvenile court had never attached."

At the time of the offense, appellant was fourteen years, nine and one-half months ...


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