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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MICHAEL HOWARD PARKS (08/15/80)

filed: August 15, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MICHAEL HOWARD PARKS, APPELLANT



No. 1019 October Term 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Chester County, at No. 0997-77.

COUNSEL

Charles M. J. Nester, West Chester, for appellant.

William H. Lamb, District Attorney, West Chester, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Brosky and Eagen, JJ.*fn*

Author: Per Curiam

[ 281 Pa. Super. Page 40]

Appellant, Michael Howard Parks, was found guilty by a jury of recklessly endangering another person.*fn1 Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were filed and denied. Following this an order directing Parks to pay the costs of prosecution, to reimburse the victim for hospital expenses, and to serve a period of probation was filed.

The prosecution against Parks arose out of an incident which occurred in the City of Coatesville in Chester County. In the early morning hours of June 9, 1977, the victim, Dennis Blake O'Donnell, was beaten by Parks in a park not far from the Coatesville Police Station. Parks approached the victim and demanded money. O'Donnell told Parks that he had little money. Parks then put his hand into the victim's pocket.

The victim, who requires a cane to walk, testified that he resisted Parks by striking him with his cane. Parks then

[ 281 Pa. Super. Page 41]

    took the cane and struck the victim with it. The blow knocked the victim to the ground and, while the victim was on the ground, Parks continued to beat him. The victim suffered bruises, a broken finger, and required four stitches for a cut on his forehead.

The victim has only one functional arm and requires his cane to walk. Once he was on the ground, the victim was unable to get up and, as a consequence, was required to crawl one and one-half blocks to the Coatesville Police Station for assistance. Additionally, Parks and the victim had known each other for approximately two or three years.

Parks first contends the trial court erred in not sustaining his objection to the introduction of a particular photograph into evidence. Parks argues the photograph was inflammatory and merely cumulative to the testimony of the victim as to the wounds inflicted.

Generally, evidence is admissible if it is relevant and competent; this basic rule applies to the admission of photographs as well as other types of demonstrative evidence. Commonwealth v. Batty, 482 Pa. 173, 393 A.2d 435 (1978). However, the admission of photographs is largely within the sound discretion of the trial court, and its ruling will not be overturned on appeal unless there is an abuse of that discretion. Commonwealth v. Woodward, 483 Pa. 1, 394 A.2d 508 (1978); Commonwealth v. Batty, supra. ...


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