Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1972, No. 1644, affirming order of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, March T., 1971, Nos. 168 and 168A, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Wesley W. Froelich.
William H. Lamb, District Attorney, with him F. Ned Hand, Assistant District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant.
John E. Stively, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Nix.
Appellee Froelich was indicted and found guilty before a jury of the statutory crimes of blackmail and
extortion. Post-trial motions were filed and the trial court after argument granted a motion in arrest of judgment and the Commonwealth appealed. The Superior Court affirmed, per curiam, without opinion. Commonwealth v. Froelich, 224 Pa. Superior Ct. 745, 301 A.2d 884 (1973). We granted allocatur and we now reverse.
Where, as here, a jury has convicted the defendant of certain charges and the Commonwealth appeals from the trial court's grant of a motion in arrest of judgment, our task is to determine whether the evidence offered by the Commonwealth was sufficient to support the jury's verdict. Commonwealth v. Blevins, 453 Pa. 481, 309 A.2d 421 (1973). To sustain the trial judge, we must find that, ". . . accepting all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, upon which, if believed the jury could properly have based its verdict, it would be nonetheless insufficient in law to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellee is guilty of the crime charged." Commonwealth v. Blevins, supra, 453 Pa. 483, 309 A.2d at 422. See also, Commonwealth v. Williams, 455 Pa. 539, 316 A.2d 888 (1974); Commonwealth v. Ponton, 450 Pa. 40, 299 A.2d 634 (1972); Commonwealth v. Commander, 436 Pa. 532, 260 A.2d 773 (1970); Commonwealth v. Frye, 433 Pa. 473, 252 A.2d 580 (1969).
A review of the record satisfies us that the jury had ample evidence upon which it could properly support its finding of guilt on the bill of indictment charging blackmail and also the indictment charging extortion. We therefore hold that the trial court was in error in the grant of a motion in arrest of judgment and that the verdict of the jury must be reinstated.
The indictment charging blackmail was based upon section 801*fn1 of The Penal Code which provides: "Whoever
by means of written, printed or oral communications, intimidates, or levies blackmail, or extorts money, property or other valuable thing from any person or by such means attempts to intimidate, annoy, or levy blackmail, or extort money, property or ...