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COMMONWEALTH v. CARBONETTO (01/24/74)

decided: January 24, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CARBONETTO, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, May T., 1970, No. 145, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Rosalia Carbonetto.

COUNSEL

Justin D. Jirolanio, for appellant.

Charles H. Spaziani, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Pomeroy

[ 455 Pa. Page 94]

A Northampton County jury found Rosalia Carbonetto guilty of murder in the second degree. Motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial were denied, and a sentence of imprisonment at the State Correctional

[ 455 Pa. Page 95]

Institution at Muncy for not more than ten years was imposed.*fn1 This appeal followed. We affirm.

Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain her conviction. We have remarked many times that "the test of sufficiency of evidence is whether, accepting as true all the evidence, together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, upon which the jury could properly have based its verdict, such evidence and inferences are sufficient in law to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Commonwealth v. Clark, 454 Pa. 329, 331, 311 A.2d 910 (1973).

In the case at bar the evidence discloses that Rosalia Carbonetto, the appellant, and Jack Lidestri, the deceased, had been friends for several years. The Lidestri and Carbonetto families were frequent visitors at each other's houses. Mr. Lidestri sometimes dropped by the Carbonetto home during the evening to work around the house, both when Mr. Carbonetto was home and when he was at work. On June 9, 1970, the Carbonettos agreed to look after the Lidestri children for a few hours. Mr. Lidestri came to the Carbonetto house to pick up his children at about 6:30 that evening. As they were leaving, Jack Lidestri's ten-year old son, Ralph, heard Mrs. Carbonetto say to his father "to come back, or 'I'll see you later', or something like that".*fn2

[ 455 Pa. Page 96]

Lidestri returned to the Carbonetto house later that evening. Mr. Carbonetto was working a night shift, and Mrs. Carbonetto was alone in the house with her two children. What then occurred is supplied by her oral statement made to Anthony Vannicola, a Pennsylvania State Police investigator who interviewed Mrs. Carbonetto just after the events in question had transpired. As testified to by the officer as a Commonwealth witness at trial: "She stated at approximately 9:45 Jack Lidestri -- correct name Giacinto Lidestri -- came and knocked at the front door and she left (sic) him in, and he went to the chair in the living room and he sat down, and he told her that he didn't love his wife, that he loved her, and she responded that he can't be in love with her because she was a married woman and that she didn't want to go with him. As she was standing in the center of the living room he got up from the chair and put his two arms around her and tried to kiss her. She pushed him away. He came back and went down to her private parts and tried to take off her pants. She told him to stop, that she had to go into the bedroom to get something to fix herself so she wouldn't have any children. She then went into the bedroom and she got the pistol, and she said Mr. Lidestri followed her into the bedroom and she began firing, and she said one of the bullets hit him and he staggered like a drunk from the bedroom, down the hallway, and into the living room, where he fell, and was lying on the floor near the entrance to the living room."

Mrs. Carbonetto also told Trooper Vannicola, as he testified, that Lidestri had made similar sexual advances some weeks earlier. She admitted purchasing the gun three days before the fatal shooting. When her husband noticed her buying the gun, she had explained that she wanted it for protection when she was ...


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