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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM HARDWICK (05/14/82)

filed: May 14, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM HARDWICK, APPELLANT



No. 707 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, No. 7805032.

COUNSEL

John Halley, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wieand, Johnson and Montemuro, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 363]

William Hardwick was tried by jury and was found guilty of simple assault*fn1 and making terroristic threats.*fn2 Post trial motions were denied, and Hardwick was sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment for not less than one nor more than two years. After the time for appeal had expired, a P.C.H.A. petition was filed. Following hearing, the trial court granted leave to file an appeal nunc pro tunc. Consequently, the matter is before this Court on direct appeal. The only argument made by appellant is that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the findings of guilt.*fn3 There is

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 364]

    no merit in this argument; and, therefore, we affirm the judgment of sentence.

"In appraising the sufficiency of evidence, we must apply a two-step test. First, we must regard the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, accepting as true all evidence upon which the fact finder could properly have based its verdict; then we must ask whether that evidence, with all reasonable inferences from it, was sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Commonwealth v. Herriott, 265 Pa. Super. 143, 147, 401 A.2d 841, 843-44 (1979), quoting from Commonwealth v. Eddington, 255 Pa. Super. 25, 26, 386 A.2d 117, 117-18 (1978).

The facts proven by the evidence are recited in the opinion of the Honorable Ralph Cappy, trial judge, as follows: "On the morning of July 31, 1978, several guards employed at the Allegheny County Jail were alerted to an altercation taking place in the 'lower circle' of the jail . . . . The argument turned into a physical 'wrestling match' between Hardwick and [Corrections Officer Gary] Morrison, and two other inmates, as well as Officers Milcic and Sweeney, and Lieutenant Faiello intervened to break up the fight. The officers proceeded to subdue the residents, and then Lieutenant Faiello and Officer Milcic assisted Morrison in transporting Hardwick to a Special Housing Unit in the jail called the 'SHU.' En route, Morrison and Hardwick again began to exchange words. A heated argument broke out during which Hardwick took a swing at Morrison, missing him.*fn4 Officer Milcic immediately grabbed the defendant, and pulled him away from Morrison towards the 'SHU,' whereupon Hardwick struck Milcic twice in the head area with his fist. The Officers finally got Hardwick securely into the SHU, and proceeded to the jail's medical department where they were advised to go to a hospital for x-rays. The officers went to the Central Medical Pavillion Emergency

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 365]

Room, where they were examined, x-rays were taken and they were both released with instructions to take a couple of days off from work.

"On August 11, 1978, Officer Milcic was assigned to the 'SHU' area of the jail. While he was in the process of [delivering] food . . ., the defendant approached him, stating, as Milcic testified, that 'he's going to get out of jail some day. When he does he's going to get a gun, and come after me and Officer Morrison.' . . . The defendant admitted to the 'wrestling match' with Morrison, but denied striking ...


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