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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RICHARD F. DOMBRAUSKAS (01/18/80)

filed: January 18, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RICHARD F. DOMBRAUSKAS, APPELLANT



No. 2211 October Term, 1978, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence Imposed July 21, 1978, at No 2916 of 1977, in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

Andrew F. Schneider, Assistant Public Defender, Doylestown, for appellant.

Kenneth G. Biehn, District Attorney, submitted a brief on behalf of the Commonwealth, appellee.

Van der Voort, Hester and Wieand, JJ.*fn*

Author: Wieand

[ 274 Pa. Super. Page 456]

Appellant, Richard F. Dombrauskas, was tried by a jury on counts of robbery, theft, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of an instrument of crime. He was found guilty of theft and acquitted of all other charges. Following the denial of post-trial motions, appellant was placed on probation for a period of twenty-three months and directed to pay $250.00 in lieu of fine. On appeal, he alleges six trial errors. None of these have merit, and, therefore, we affirm.

Mark Kozak, Michael Donohue, Timothy Rudolph and appellant were engaged in a "friendly" all night poker game at Michael Donohue's apartment. At or about 6:00 A.M., appellant, who had been losing consistently, accused Kozak, who had been winning, of cheating. An argument ensued which erupted into a physical scuffle between appellant and Kozak. Appellant quickly gained the upper hand, took money from Kozak, and released him. Kozak fled the apartment and, later that same day, reported the incident to the police.

Each of the four persons present gave varying accounts of the incident. The victim, Kozak, testified that appellant had

[ 274 Pa. Super. Page 457]

    attacked him with a knife, had taken all his money, and had warned him not to go to the police. Donohue agreed that appellant had been the aggressor but did not see who originally produced the knife.

Appellant testified that Kozak had attacked him with a knife but that he had been able to disarm and overpower him. While he stood over the supine Kozak, appellant stated that he had thrown the knife in the corner and then had asked for the money of which he had wrongfully been cheated. When Kozak offered him his wallet, appellant testified he took only $30.00.

Rudolph corroborated appellant's testimony that Kozak had been the aggressor. Although he did not actually see the knife in Kozak's hand, Rudolph testified that he had observed Kozak reach for his pocket as if "going for something". This incident had precipitated the fight. Rudolph also testified that appellant had taken money from Kozak but did not know how much.

Appellant's first allegation of error is that the trial court prohibited appellant from impeaching the victim's credibility by cross-examining him about a prior adjudication of delinquency for armed robbery. The trial court correctly ruled that a witness in a criminal trial may not be impeached by use of a prior adjudication of delinquency. The Juvenile Act of December 6, 1972, P.L. 1464, No. 333, § 27(b), 11 P.S. § 50-324(b);*fn1 Commonwealth v. Pilosky, 239 Pa. Super. 233, 239, 362 A.2d 253, 256-57 (1976). See also: Commonwealth v. Katchmer, 453 Pa. 461, 309 A.2d 591 (1973). Moreover, ...


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