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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EDWARD IGNATAVICH (03/14/84)

submitted: March 14, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
EDWARD IGNATAVICH, APPELLANT



No. 3546 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Luzerne County, No. 1800 of 1981.

COUNSEL

Basil G. Russin, Chief Public Defender, Wilkes-Barre, for appellant.

Joseph Giebus, Assistant District Attorney, Wilkes-Barre, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cavanaugh, Wieand and Cirillo, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 620]

OPINION

Edward Ignatavich was tried by jury and was found guilty of murder in the third degree as a result of the stabbing death of Peter Gliem during an altercation in Hazleton, Luzerne County, on November 5, 1981. On direct appeal from the judgment of sentence, Ignatavich complains (1) that the evidence was insufficient to show a killing with malice; (2) that the Commonwealth failed to provide him with information of an earlier arrest of the victim for assault and that the trial court erred when it refused to allow evidence of such arrest; (3) that the trial court failed to instruct the jury fully and accurately on self-defense; (4) that the trial court erred in charging the jury on flight and concealment; and (5) that the sentence was excessive. We find no merit in these contentions and, therefore, will affirm the judgment of sentence.

[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 621]

The altercation which resulted in Peter Gliem's death occurred outside Gliem's home after he had completed a trash collection route and was parking his truck. Larry Koslop drove up in a station wagon, jumped out and engaged Peter Gliem in an argument regarding a prior disagreement. An altercation ensued in which Koslop was knocked to the ground and beaten. Ignatavich, who had been seated in Koslop's car, emerged from the vehicle with a knife which he then used to attack Peter Gliem and stab him in the chest. The altercation occurred in the presence of members of the Gliem family, whose versions of the altercation varied substantially from Ignatavich's recollection. These differing versions have been fully stated and reviewed in the opinion prepared by the trial court and will not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that there was evidence which, if believed, showed that Peter Gliem had been unarmed at the time Ignatavich attacked him with a knife. After the altercation, Ignatavich helped the beaten Koslop into the car, refused requests to help Peter Gliem, and drove away. He concealed himself in nearby woodland before surrendering himself to police on the following day. Gliem died from loss of blood caused when Ignatavich's knife pierced his heart.

The defense version was that Ignatavich had drawn a knife to protect himself only after Peter Gliem had subdued Koslop and approached Ignatavich in a combatant manner wielding a tire iron. Fearing that he, too, would be beaten, Ignatavich contended, he drew the knife and used it solely to defend himself. The credibility of this testimony, of course, was for the jury, which could believe all, some or none of it. See: Commonwealth v. Shaver, 501 Pa. 167, 173, 460 A.2d 742, 745 (1983). The version testified to by Commonwealth witnesses demonstrated, if believed, that the killing of Peter Gliem had been malicious and unjustified by any need on the part of Ignatavich to protect himself against an unarmed assailant.

More than fifteen months prior to the stabbing, Peter Gliem had been arrested for assaulting Samuel Touch while

[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 622]

    he sat in a car.*fn1 The charges were dropped, however, after Gliem agreed to pay Touch's medical expenses. Ignatavich contends that he is entitled to a new trial because the Commonwealth failed to disclose this arrest in response to a pre-trial discovery request for exculpatory evidence and also because the trial court denied ...


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