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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RONALD J. SMITH (06/25/82)

filed: June 25, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RONALD J. SMITH, APPELLANT



No. 212 Harrisburg, 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Juniata County at No. 101 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Steven V. Manbeck, Mifflintown, for appellant.

Michael Johnston, District Attorney, Mifflintown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Rowley and Watkins, JJ. Watkins, J., files a concurring opinion.

Author: Wickersham

[ 301 Pa. Super. Page 143]

On November 12, 1980 a criminal complaint was sworn out against Ronald J. Smith of Port Royal, Juniata County, by Trooper G. L. Eaton of the Pennsylvania State Police on a charge of recklessly endangering another person.*fn1 Specifically, Smith was charged with having recklessly engaged in conduct which placed Douglas Edward Forry in danger of death or serious bodily injury "by pointing a gun in the direction of the victim Forry, and firing a shot in the direction of said victim."

On January 22, 1981, trial was commenced against Smith before the Honorable Keith B. Quigley, President Judge, and a jury. Following the presentation of the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of recklessly endangering another person. Post-trial motions were thereafter denied, and Smith was sentenced on June 16, 1981 to undergo imprisonment in a state institution for a period of not less than one nor more than two years. This appeal followed.

Instantly Ronald J. Smith was charged with recklessly endangering Douglas Edward Forry on October 10, 1980 at 7:00 p. m. in Turbett Township, Juniata County. At trial Douglas Edward Forry testified that he was nineteen years of age and resided with his parents at Port Royal, Juniata County. At the time of the alleged crime, the defendant Ronald J. Smith was visiting his parents who are neighbors of the Forrys. The houses of the Forrys and defendant's parents were perhaps a hundred yards apart separated by a field. On October 10, 1980 about 7:00 p. m., Forry had been working on his car, a 1969 Chevelle. He was driving the car along the field next to his neighbor Ralph Bomberger. It was dark and he had headlights on. As he came within twenty-five yards, at the most, of the side porch of the home of defendant Ronald J. Smith, he saw Smith whom he had known seven or eight years. His testimony followed:

[ 301 Pa. Super. Page 144]

Q. Exactly what position was he in? I mean was he sitting, standing up, laying down, or what?

A. He was sort of on his knees, or something like that.

Q. Both knees.

A. No, just the one.

Q. All right. What else, if anything, did you ...


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