Nos. 624, 625, 626, 627, 628, 639, April Term 1976, Appeal from Orders and Decrees of March 4, 1976, from the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County at Nos. 460 of 1975 (624); 269 of 1975 (625); 270 of 1975 (626); 267 of 1975 (627); 370 of 1975 (628); and 266 of 1975 (639).
R. W. Ziegler, Jr., Pittsburgh, for appellants at Nos. 624, 625, 626, 627, and 628.
Mark F. Geary, Pittsburgh, for appellant at No. 639.
Joseph E. Ferens, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, and Conrad B. Capuzzi, District Attorney, Uniontown, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Watkins, former President Judge, and Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 260 Pa. Super. Page 18]
On August 9, 1977, the Supreme Court remanded the instant case to this Court*fn1 to consider the following issues, properly preserved for our review: (1) whether the lower court erred in granting the Commonwealth's petition to extend the period in which to try appellants, Rule 1100(c), Pa.R.Crim.P., 19 P.S. Appendix, and (2) whether the lower court erred in denying appellants' motion for a change of venue.
In 1975, the Fayette County District Attorney filed over 300 criminal complaints charging eleven defendants with burglary, arson, and conspiracy. Several of the defendants were members of the Connellsville Police Department during
[ 260 Pa. Super. Page 19]
the commission of the offenses. Known popularly as the "Connellsville Police Cases," the various proceedings engendered considerable publicity. See Commonwealth v. Richey, 249 Pa. Super. 365, 378 A.2d 338 (1977); Commonwealth v. Mancuso, 247 Pa. Super. 245, 372 A.2d 444 (1977); Commonwealth v. Borris, 247 Pa. Super. 260, 372 A.2d 451 (1977); Commonwealth v. Mancuso, 247 Pa. Super. 266, 372 A.2d 454 (1977). The facts relevant to the instant case are set out in Commonwealth v. Mancuso, supra, 247 Pa. Super. 245, 372 A.2d 444 (1977) and Commonwealth v. Mancuso, supra, 247 Pa. Super. 266, 372 A.2d 454 (1977).
Our review of the Connellsville Police Cases and the record in the instant case reveals that we have disposed of appellants' contentions in prior cases with facts identical or very similar to the facts here. Specifically, we have already held that the lower court did not err in granting the Commonwealth's first petition for an extension of time under Rule 1100(c). Commonwealth v. Mancuso, supra, 247 Pa. Super. 245, 372 A.2d 444 (1977). Similarly, we unanimously found no error when the lower court granted the Commonwealth's second petition for an extension of time. Commonwealth v. Borris, No. 378, April Term, 1976 (Order entered February 15, 1978). Our review of the record in the instant case reveals no new or additional facts to warrant a different conclusion here on the issue of Commonwealth's due diligence under Rule 1100(c). Accordingly, we affirm the lower court's order granting the Commonwealth's Rule 1100(c) petitions.
Concerning the lower court's refusal to change venue due to pretrial publicity, we have already held that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in so refusing with respect to Joseph Mancuso, Dominic Mancuso, and Raymond Martray, three of the six appellants in the case at bar. Commonwealth v. Richey, supra; Commonwealth v. Mancuso, supra, 247 Pa. Super. 245, 372 A.2d 444 (1977). We note that the three other appellants had not yet been tried at the time ...