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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RONALD RILEY (10/16/74)

decided: October 16, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RONALD RILEY, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Eugene E. Kellis, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Richard A. Sprague, 1st Asst. Dist. Atty., David Richman, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., James J. Wilson, Abraham J. Gafni, Deputy Dist. Atty. for Law, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Jones, C. J. and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Nix, JJ. Eagen, O'Brien and Pomeroy, JJ., concur in the result. Manderino, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Jones

[ 459 Pa. Page 44]

OPINION

Appellant, Ronald Riley, was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery on July 23, 1973. Following the denial of motions for new trial and in arrest of judgment, the court sentenced appellant to life imprisonment on the murder charge and ten to twenty years' imprisonment on the robbery charge, the sentences to run concurrently. This direct appeal followed.

The only questions presented on appeal involve allegedly prejudicial remarks of the prosecutor during his cross-examination of appellant. On direct examination appellant testified that he had been convicted of robbery in 1971. He also testified, however, that this conviction was the result of his taking responsibility for the acts of his twin brother out of brotherly love. On cross-examination, the following transpired:

"BY MR. KNAUER:

Q. Mr. Riley, you say that you were arrested back in April of 1971, or thereabouts, for robbery; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, you say that the reason you were convicted of that was some mistaken identity between you and your brother?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, your brother wasn't around when this ...


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