No. 68 January Term, 1977, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, Criminal Division, Imposed on Bill of Indictment No. 45, March Session, 1972.
Norris E. Gelman, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Robert B. Lawler, Chief Appeals Div., Jane Greenspan, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. O'Brien, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Eagen, C. J., concurs in the result.
A jury convicted appellant, Glenn Cooley, of murder of the first degree.*fn1 Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment. We reverse and remand for a new trial.*fn2
Appellant was arrested and charged with the murder of Pietro Paella. Paella was fatally stabbed in a telephone
booth at the corner of South 13th and Dickinson Streets in Philadelphia on the evening of October 25, 1971. At trial, William Campana, who was also charged with Paella's murder, testified that he encountered appellant at Broad and Snyder Streets on October 25, 1971. When Campana left to get money to buy drugs, appellant went with him. They stopped at the corner of 13th and Dickinson, where Campana tried to persuade a girl to give him money. Campana testified that while he was talking to the girl, he saw appellant "tussling" with a man inside a nearby telephone booth. Campana left the scene while appellant and the man were "tussling."
John Volpe testified that he had loaned his knife to appellant on October 24, 1971. Volpe received a telephone call from appellant on the night of October 26. Appellant told Volpe he had thrown the knife away after he stabbed a man with it. Volpe identified a knife that had been discovered about a block from 13th and Dickinson as the knife he loaned appellant.
The Commonwealth also introduced an alleged transcript of a statement in which appellant allegedly admitted stabbing Mr. Paella but claimed that he did so in the midst of a fight after the deceased spit on him and used a racial epithet. The written transcript further revealed appellant had disposed of ...