John R. Gailey, Jr., York, for appellant.
Donald L. Reihart, Dist. Atty., Floyd P. Jones, York, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Roberts, J., filed a concurring opinion. Nix, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
Appellant Michael Francis Manning was convicted in the Court of Common Pleas of York County on two counts of murder in the first degree. After denying his post-trial motions, the trial court imposed a sentence of two consecutive terms of life imprisonment. From that judgment of
sentence the within appeal was taken.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, we must reverse and remand for a new trial.
Appellant has briefed six assignments of error. In view of our disposition of the case on the ground that the trial court failed to instruct the jury completely on the definition of voluntary manslaughter, we need not reach the remaining issues.*fn2
Appellant specifically requested the trial court to instruct the jury on the elements of voluntary manslaughter in the language of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S. 2503(b) (1973).*fn3 The definitional portions of Section 2503 provide as follows:
"(a) General rule. -- A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by:
(1) the individual killed; or