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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CURTIS GENE VALENTINE (07/25/79)

July 25, 1979

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
CURTIS GENE VALENTINE, APPELLANT



No. 1180 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County at No. 106 Criminal 1977, Criminal Division.

Before Price, Hester, and Montgomery, JJ. Price, J., concurred in the result.

Per Curiam:

Judgment of sentence affirmed based on the lower court opinion of Judge Norman A. Shaulis.

PRICE, J., concurred in the result.

COMMONWEALTH vs. CURTIS GENE VALENTINE

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF SOMERSET COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

No. 106 Criminal 1977

For Commonwealth: Frederick F. Coffroth, Esq. District Attorney

For Defendant: Wilbert H. Beachy, III, Esq. Public Defender

Before: COFFROTH, P.J. and SHAULIS, J.

Hearing: April, 1978

At a non-jury trial (Shaulis, J.) on January 6, 1978, defendant Curtis Gene Valentine was found guilty of Arson in violation of Crimes Code § 3301(a), Risking Catastrophe in violation of § 3302(b), and a summary offense of Criminal Mischief in violation of § 3304. See the Crimes Code, Act No. 334 of December 6, 1972, P.L. 1482; 18 P.C.S. § 101 et seq. Basically, the evidence presented showed that defendant had fabricated and detonated an explosive device which damaged a county bridge in Quemahoning Township on March 27, 1977. The Court on banc now has for consideration defense motions for new trial and in arrest of judgment.

We will discuss the grounds asserted in each of the five paragraphs of the motions. The first two paragraphs to be discussed raise procedural points, which had been decided against defendant when initially raised before trial. The remaining three paragraphs involve the substantive definitions of the crimes for which defendant has been convicted.

A. Compliance with Local Rules of Court:

Defense counsel argues that this case was listed for trial in then August 1977 term of court in violation of local rules of court. A short review of these rules and the facts of the case will be necessary for our resolution of this point.

Under the local rules in effect at the time, the District Attorney was responsible for compiling a list of untried cases shortly before the start of each scheduled term of court. This list was called by the Court en banc at a General Arraignment Day, the first Monday of the trial term. There was a second call of undisposed cases at a deferred or Special Arraignment Day, the third Thursday of the trial term. The final schedule of cases to be actually tried, trials beginning the fourth Monday of the term, was developed from cases left after these two calls of the list.

In order to implement this procedure, local Rule 4-101 provided that the District Attorney must give defendant notice at least 10 days before arraignment and local Rule 4-201 provided that either the District Attorney or defendant could request the Court to hold arraignment at some time other than the General Arraignment Day.*fn1 ...


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