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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH ROBERT JONES (05/04/79)

decided: May 4, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOSEPH ROBERT JONES, JR., APPELLANT



No. 1631 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Opinion and Order Entered February 23, 1978 by the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, Criminal Action at No. 301 of 1977.

COUNSEL

William A. Duncan, Carlisle, for appellant.

Edgar B. Bayley, District Attorney, Carlisle, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, Hester and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 38]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County.

Appellant was convicted of assault by prisoner, 18 Pa.C.A. ยง 2703 in a non-jury trial and subsequently sentenced to 5-10 years imprisonment.

The facts underlying the conviction are as follows:

Appellant and the victim were prisoners in the "J" ward in the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill. On April 1, 1977 appellant apparently banged the doors of the victim's cell; the victim then directed him to stop and to keep his hands off of the cell door. Appellant then reached through the cell door, attempting to grab the victim, whereupon the victim struck appellant's hands with a piece of wood. Appellant withdrew his hands and then threatened the victim. Later that day while the victim was looking out the front of his cell, appellant sneaked up on him (the cell was so constructed that a prisoner could only see out of the front thereof) and slashed his throat with a razor blade. The cut required twelve stitches to close and the victim was hospitalized for 23 days.

Appellant argues that a new trial should have been granted in light of evidence and testimony that became available after the conclusion of the trial.

Before a new trial may be granted on the basis of after-discovered evidence, we have held that the evidence must be discovered after trial; must be such that it could not have been obtained at the time of trial by the exercise of reasonable diligence; must not be cumulative or merely impeach credibility, and must be such as would likely compel a different result. Commonwealth v. Schuck, 401 Pa. 222, 164 A.2d 13 (1960); Commonwealth v. Johnson, 228 Pa. Super. 364, 323 A.2d 295 (1974).

[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 39]

The after discovered evidence in this case consists of testimony by three persons who were inmates of Camp Hill at the ...


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