No. 84 March Term 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court at No. 597 April Term 1975, affirming the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Criminal Division at No. 484 October Term 1972.
Vincent R. Baginski, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Jess D. Costa, Dist. Atty., George E. Anthou, Asst. Dist. Atty., Washington, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino, and Larsen, JJ.
Appellant, David Duffy, was indicted on charges of accessory before and after the fact to burglary and larceny, receiving stolen property, and conspiracy. At trial, before voir dire, a conference took place at sidebar between the trial judge, the assistant district attorney, and Duffy's counsel (hereinafter referred to as trial counsel). Trial counsel raised two matters. First, he objected to the presence of police officers in the courtroom during jury selection. The objection was overruled and an exception noted. Second, he discussed an allegation about his role in the case to be tried:
"[Trial Counsel:] [T]he Office of the District Attorney has suggested that one of the prosecution witnesses might make some statement implicating me in some way in the disposition of these weapons. If that's the case, I would ask for the revelation of that information immediately, and ask for a continuance to give the defendant the opportunity to obtain other counsel. Such a thing . . . would be extremely prejudicial to my client . . . .
"[Mr. Anthou (D.A.):] Your Honor, . . . it is my intention not to introduce that evidence. I am not certain whether it is valid or not, in any event, but I don't want it in the case in any --
"The Court: Is it relevant to this case?
"[Mr. Anthou (D.A.):] It is, I think, if it were true, but I think it would be so prejudicial that it might vitiate the case altogether.
"[Trial Counsel:] The suggestion, by apparently one of the witnesses, was that I was to be the recipient of some of the fruits ...