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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RICHARD E. JONES (06/29/77)

decided: June 29, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
RICHARD E. JONES, APPELLANT (TWO CASES)



Appeal from the Judgments of Sentence of October 28, 1975, of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County at Nos. 2732 and 2733 May Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

John J. Dean and Anthony J. Lalama, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Robert L. Campbell and Robert L. Eberhardt, Assistant District Attorneys, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 215]

This is an appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, where the defendant, Richard E. Jones, was convicted of two counts of indecent exposure and one count of corruption of children after a jury trial. The defendant was sentenced to two years on said convictions.

[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 216]

On December 7, 1973, at approximately 7:45 P.M. two girls were picked up while hitchhiking by a male driver of a dark station wagon. The girls informed the man that their destination was a McDonald's restaurant nearby. During the drive the man exposed his genitals, removed a knife from its sheath above the sun visor of the automobile and pointed it at one of the girls' stomachs. He then pulled the vehicle off the road and attempted to get one of the girls to ejaculate him and also attempted to put his hand down each girl's shirt. After a few minutes the driver took the girls to a dirt road, stopped the automobile, and again attempted to touch the girls. He was still exposed when this occurred. After 10 to 15 minutes he allowed the girls to leave the vehicle and drove off. The girls then went to the McDonald's and called the police.

A policeman arrived at the restaurant and took down the girls' story. About a month after the incident the girls saw a vehicle in a shopping center which resembled the one in which the incident occurred and took down the license number. Based upon this information a complaint was lodged against the defendant and he was arrested on April 2, 1974. At trial both girls identified the appellant as the one who picked them up on December 7, 1973. Also two other girls testified for the prosecution and identified appellant as the man who picked them up on November 27, 1973. At the time of the trial the appellant had already been convicted of charges arising out of the November 27th incident.

After five and one-half hours of deliberation the jury returned for further instructions. The court below refused any further instructions and the jury returned to its deliberations. Ninety minutes later it returned with its verdict finding the appellant guilty of the aforementioned charges but not guilty as to attempted indecent assault on one of the girls.

Appellant contends that his conviction should be reversed because the evidence was insufficient to sustain his

[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 217]

    convictions. At trial both girls testified positively that appellant was the one who picked them up on December 7, 1973 and performed the aforementioned acts. At trial appellant set forth an alibi defense wherein he and thirteen other witnesses testified that he was at an Alcoholics' Anonymous meeting on the night in question and that it would not have been possible for him to get from the meeting to the place of the incident in time. He also points out several minor inconsistencies in the girls' stories such as the color of the vehicle (dark blue vs. dark green). What he is really saying is that the jury should have believed his story rather than that of the girls. This was a matter of credibility for the jury resolved in favor of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Meadows, 232 Pa. Super. 293, 331 A.2d 827 (1974). The evidence ...


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