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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HARRY LON CRAFT (09/24/82)

filed: September 24, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HARRY LON CRAFT, APPELLANT



No. 488 April Term, 1979, No. 706 April Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order and Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Crawford County, at No. 442 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Thomas M. Kiermaier, Saxonburg, for appellant.

Stephen Toole, Assistant District Attorney, Meadville, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Cavanaugh and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 496]

Appellant, Harry Lon Craft, takes this appeal from his conviction for conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Appellant argues, inter alia, that his sentence must be vacated because the written judgment of sentence incorrectly states that appellant was found guilty of conspiracy to commit theft of a motor vehicle, rather than the correct

[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 497]

    verdict of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. We find merit in appellant's issue. However, we do not find the error in this case to be such as would warrant the vacating of sentence. Instead, we find the proper remedy to be an order, entered pursuant to Pa.R.App.Pro. 1926, directing that the record be corrected, and we so order.

During the spring of 1977, one Stephen Barker of Crawford County was having mechanical problems with his motorcycle. Barker's friend, Michael Bly, also of Crawford County, approached Barker with the idea of getting rid of the motorcycle and filing a false theft claim with the insurance company, an idea which Barker did not immediately adopt. A short time later, Barker received a telephone call from appellant, who resided in Armstrong County. Appellant asked Barker if the latter wanted to "get rid" of his motorcycle. Appellant offered Barker a couple of hundred dollars for the bike and reminded Barker that he could be collecting the insurance money in addition and so Barker would not be losing out on the deal. As before, Barker merely promised to think the idea over. However, after several discussions with Bly, Barker decided to go ahead with the plan and on May 14, 1977, the two of them made arrangements to drive up to appellant's house at night. When the men reached Kittanning, Bly, who was handling the negotiations with appellant, telephoned the clubhouse of the Outlaw motorcycle gang and asked for appellant. Bly was told that appellant wasn't there but to come by anyway. A short time later, appellant arrived at the clubhouse and he, Bly and Barker went to appellant's house. Bly and Barker decided to spend the night at appellant's house and they parked the motorcycle in the yard. The next day, when the trio awoke, they found that the motorcycle had mysteriously disappeared during the night. Bly and appellant discussed this turn of events and appellant agreed to pay the money he promised.

Approximately one year later, Bly was convicted on several unrelated charges and sentenced to a prison term. Bly decided to admit to the police his involvement in a number

[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 498]

    of other criminal acts, including the herewithin conspiracy. Bly testified that it was his desire to "get all this out in the open" and serve his sentences at one time, rather than face the prospect of completing one sentence only to be later convicted on these remaining crimes and to again be separated from his family. Bly and Barker were both convicted for their participation in the conspiracy and both testified against appellant. On the strength of their testimony, appellant was convicted.

Appellant raises two arguments challenging the propriety of his conviction. Appellant first argues that the trial court in Crawford County lacked subject matter jurisdiction because there was no proof of appellant's involvement in the conspiracy in that county. Appellant's second issue is related to his first, contending that the Commonwealth failed to prove that any overt ...


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