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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CHARLES PALMER (09/16/83)

filed: September 16, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
CHARLES PALMER



No. 662 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County, Criminal Division, No. 1980-410.

COUNSEL

David Forrest Mowrey, Assistant District Attorney, Titusville, for Commonwealth, appellant.

John F. Spataro, Meadville, for appellee.

Cercone, P.j., and Rowley and Beck, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 319 Pa. Super. Page 57]

Appellee was convicted, after a jury trial, of arson, criminal solicitation, theft by deception, and false report to a law enforcement agency. The charges arose out of the burning of appellant's car.

Appellee subsequently filed a Motion for New Trial, which was granted on June 5, 1981. In addition to ordering a new trial, the court "suppressed" a statement made by appellee to a Pennsylvania State Trooper. The Commonwealth has appealed from that order.

Prior to trial, appellee filed a discovery motion requesting the Commonwealth to disclose any statements he had made. The Commonwealth responded that it had no such statements.

During presentation of the Commonwealth's case, the District Attorney attempted to introduce into evidence an inculpatory statement made by appellee to the investigating

[ 319 Pa. Super. Page 58]

    officer. Defense counsel objected on the ground that the Commonwealth had failed to disclose this statement pre-trial as required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 305(B)(1)(b). The objection was sustained.

Later, during cross-examination of appellee, the District Attorney asked if appellee had made any inculpatory statements to the trooper. Appellee responded that he had not. During rebuttal, the District Attorney called the trooper to the stand and again attempted to introduce the inculpatory statement. The court overruled defense counsel's objection and allowed the statement into evidence.

In granting a new trial, the court determined that it was improper to allow the statement for impeachment purposes after it had been disallowed ...


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