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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. KENNETH S. WARREN (05/06/83)

filed: May 6, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
KENNETH S. WARREN, APPELLANT



No. 412 Pittsburgh 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of March 24, 1981, Court of Common Pleas, Blair County, Criminal Division as Nos. 994-995 of 1978.

COUNSEL

John Woodcock, Jr., Public Defender, Hollidaysburg, for appellant.

Oliver Ebner J. Mattas, Jr., District Attorney, Hollidaysburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Brosky, Johnson and Montgomery, JJ. Brosky, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Johnson

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 392]

This appeal arises from appellant's convictions for involuntary manslaughter*fn1 and driving under the influence of alcohol.*fn2 Sentence for involuntary manslaughter was for two to four years imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Sentence for driving under the influence was for six to twelve months imprisonment and a $200 fine.

The charges were brought as a result of an automobile collision between appellant's vehicle and a second vehicle on a mountainous stretch of road known as Devil's Elbow near Altoona, Pennsylvania on August 28, 1978. As a result of the collision, two occupants of the other vehicle were killed. Immediately prior to the collision, appellant was observed driving in an erratic manner, criss-crossing the highway.

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 393]

The administration of a breathalyzer test indicated appellant's blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit.

Appellant raises five issues on appeal, namely whether the trial court erred: (1) in its charge regarding credibility, (2) in its charge by allegedly referring to the defense testimony as circumstantial, (3) in its charge by unfairly emphasizing the Commonwealth's evidence and downgrading the defense evidence, thereby permitting a verdict based on insufficient evidence, (4) in permitting the admission of an allegedly inflammatory and prejudicial photograph, and (5) in granting the Commonwealth's request for extension of the time for trial pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100 (Rule 1100).

I. -- III.

Appellant alleges various errors concerning the trial court's charge to the jury. We note that in reviewing a jury charge for prejudicial and reversible error, this court must view the charge as a whole for its general effect and not consider isolated excerpts. Commonwealth v. Vernille, 275 Pa. Super. 263, 418 A.2d ...


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