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COMMONWEALTH v. WRIGHT ET AL. (06/21/74)

decided: June 21, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
WRIGHT ET AL., APPELLANTS. COMMONWEALTH V. STONER, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, No. 360 of 1971, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lucien M. Stoner.

COUNSEL

Lawrence C. Zeger, for appellant at No. 151; William F. Kaminski, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant at No. 153; James H. Rowland, Jr., and Rowland & Rowland, for appellant at No. 160.

Edward S. Newlin, Assistant District Attorney, with him John R. Walker, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J. Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Jacobs

[ 228 Pa. Super. Page 252]

These three cases arose out of the same incident and were consolidated for trial in the court below. The three appellants were found guilty by a jury of the

[ 228 Pa. Super. Page 253]

    offense of robbery with accomplice*fn1 and thereafter sentenced by the court. On appeal each raises the identical issues of whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction and whether the court erred in refusing to grant a mistrial upon appellants' motion based upon certain actions of the assistant district attorney. For the reasons stated hereinafter, we affirm the judgments of sentence.

In considering the sufficiency of the evidence after a guilty verdict, we are bound to review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth must be given all reasonable inferences flowing therefrom. Commonwealth v. Cimaszewski, 447 Pa. 141, 288 A.2d 805 (1972). Briefly summarized in this light, the following facts are pertinent:

Ernest Wright on the night of May 14, 1971, was in the bar of the Madden Hotel in Chambersburg. While there he apparently solicited and received from Robert Wright (an individual appellant unrelated to Ernest Wright) an offer to drive him to his sister's house in Fulton County. Ernest Wright testified that he left the Madden Hotel and got into Robert Wright's car with Stoner, an appellant herein, Robert Wright, and one John Pensinger, who was acquitted in the court below. He further testified that he was driven a few miles from town, dragged from the car, and beaten and robbed by Wright, Stoner, and Pensinger.

William Pittman, a Commonwealth witness who had pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, testified that the individuals who accompanied Ernest Wright in the car were Robert Wright, Stoner, Terry Lee Boles, the three appellants herein, and himself. He stated that Pensinger, although he had been in the bar that evening, had not gone with the others in the car. Pittman testified,

[ 228 Pa. Super. Page 254]

    however, that although the car had stopped on a back road because Ernest Wright was sick from excessive drinking, no robbery had taken place. While testifying on their own behalf, Robert Wright, Stoner, and Boles ...


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