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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RONALD V. MATT (06/29/77)

decided: June 29, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RONALD V. MATT, APPELLANT



Appeal from Order of Court Denying Appellant's Motion for New Trial and in Arrest of Judgment and Judgment of Sentence by the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Northampton County, To No. 294 January Term, 1975.

COUNSEL

Harris S. Pasline, Assistant Public Defender, Easton, for appellant.

Robert A. Freedberg, Assistant District Attorney, and Charles H. Spaziani, District Attorney, Easton, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Jacobs, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ., concur in the result.

Author: Hoffman

[ 249 Pa. Super. Page 100]

The instant appeal involves numerous allegations of error. Only two issues are properly before us: (1) whether the evidence of robbery*fn1 was sufficient, and (2) whether the sentence was excessive. Appellant waived five additional contentions, three because counsel failed to raise them in a timely manner below, and two because counsel failed to raise them in post-verdict motions. Because neither claim which is properly before us has merit, we affirm the judgment of sentence.

On February 21, 1975, appellant was arrested on a charge of robbery in Bethlehem, Northampton County. A grand jury indicted him on March 18, 1975. On April 16, 1975, a jury found appellant guilty of robbery. After the court en banc denied appellant's post-verdict motions, the lower court sentenced appellant to a term of imprisonment of four to eight years. This appeal followed.

[ 249 Pa. Super. Page 101]

Appellant contends that the evidence of robbery was insufficient to sustain a conviction of robbery. Appellant's contention is without merit.

At trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence that the victim of the robbery met appellant on February 3, 1975, and discussed the purchase of a stereo from one of appellant's friends. Later in the day, appellant and the victim joined a third person who was to drive them to see the stereo. While in the car, the appellant grabbed a spatula which the owner used as an ice scraper, and held the implement to the victim's throat. Appellant demanded the victim's money, punched the victim, and forced his head against the dashboard. While so positioned, the victim was relieved of $140.00 by appellant. After the scuffle, the driver demanded that appellant leave the car.

Appellant's defense was that he and the victim had been playing pool earlier in the day, that, as a result, the victim owed appellant $55.00, and that the argument and scuffle followed appellant's efforts to recover the gambling debt. The appellant denied taking any money during the altercation.

The Crimes Code defines robbery, in relevant part, as follows:

"(1) A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of ...


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