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COMMONWEALTH v. STILES (06/21/74)

decided: June 21, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
STILES, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, Feb. T., 1973, No. 208, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Harvey Stiles.

COUNSEL

Harvey Stiles, in propria persona, and S. Maxwell Flitter, for appellant.

Harold E. Sheely, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Price, J. Spaeth, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Price

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 413]

The appellant, Harvey Stiles, was found guilty on February 16, 1973, by a Cumberland County jury of aggravated assault and battery, and sentenced to one and one-half to three years imprisonment. Motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial were filed and denied.

Appellant raises three assignments of error: (1) that the evidence was insufficient to return a guilty verdict; (2) that a mistrial should have been declared when a witness stated during questioning that the appellant had been in jail; (3) that appointed counsel was ineffective.

Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the Commonwealth, Commonwealth v. Portalatin, 223 Pa. Superior Ct. 33, 297 A.2d 144 (1972), the testimony, as noted by the lower court in its opinion, established the following facts:

"The evidence indicates that on the evening of January 8, 1973, the defendant, Priscilla Snyder, and Perry Mirilli were gathered at Mirilli's residence at Apartment 33, Robin Court, Wesley Park Apartments, in Mechanicsburg.

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 414]

They sniffed amyl nitrate and smoked marijuana. In addition, the testimony indicates that Mirilli was drinking wine and that Miss Snyder, the defendant's girl friend, had taken methadrine earlier that day.

"An argument erupted, resulting in Stiles' pushing Mirilli to the floor. At this point Miss Snyder left the apartment but heard a sound which she believed to be a gunshot. She testified that she then went next door and called the police. Mirilli testified that he remembered being pushed to the floor and seeing Stiles with a gun in his hand. He then blacked out. Upon regaining consciousness a short time later, Mirilli noticed he had an injury to his head which was bleeding. Mirilli and Snyder both testified that they had seen a revolver in Stiles' possession earlier in the evening, and that the defendant had placed the revolver in his pocket.

"Stiles took Mirilli to the Harrisburg Hospital. The victim was treated by Dr. Markley, a neurosurgeon, who testified to the nature of the injury and stated that he removed ...


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