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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. FREDA KUEBLER (03/16/79)

decided: March 16, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
FREDA KUEBLER, APPELLANT



Nos. 109 & 153 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Criminal Division, at Nos. 483, 486 & 487 September Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

Edward S. Lawhorne, Sarah Lawhorne, Media, for appellant.

Frank T. Hazel, Dist. Atty., Sandra L. Gross, Asst. Dist. Atty., Media, for appellee.

Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Larsen, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: Roberts

[ 484 Pa. Page 360]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Freda Kuebler was arrested and charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and recklessly endangering another, for her alleged involvement in the beating death of Edward Fitzgerald. At trial, appellant took the stand and denied the charges. At closing argument, the prosecuting attorney argued that appellant inflicted the fatal blows, summarized appellant's testimony, and then remarked:

"I submit to you, members of the Jury, that Freda is not right, and everything that she said from that stand, and in every major respect concerning this case was a big lie."

Immediately after the prosecuting attorney completed his argument, appellant moved for a mistrial. The Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County denied appellant's motion, and the jury found appellant guilty of murder of the

[ 484 Pa. Page 361]

    third degree, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another. Again, on appellant's motion for a new trial, the court of common pleas rejected her contention that the prosecuting attorney's remark was prejudicial, denied the motion, and imposed sentence.

On appeal, appellant renews her claim that the prosecuting attorney's remark was improper and prejudicial. We agree, reverse judgment of ...


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