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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. THOMAS JENNINGS (11/09/84)

filed: November 9, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
THOMAS JENNINGS, APPELLANT



NO. 1290 PITTSBURGH 1982, Appeal from the Order and Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Nos. 271 and 272, 1982, Criminal Division.

COUNSEL

Carmela R.M. Presogna, Assistant Public Defender, Erie, for appellant.

James E. Blackwood, Assistant District Attorney, Erie, for Com., appellee.

Rowley, Del Sole and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Del Sole

[ 335 Pa. Super. Page 406]

Appellant, in separate jury trials, was twice found guilty of theft by unlawful taking. Post-trial motions were filed and denied. He consolidates issues for this appeal, raising three questions:

1. Did the trial court abuse its discretion in allowing the introduction of prior crimes evidence to impeach the Appellant's credibility?

2. Was counsel ineffective in not requesting curative instructions when the prosecutor stated in summation that Appellant had lied?

3. Was trial counsel ineffective where he failed to request a poll of the jury prior to the recording of the verdict?

The factual background is that on September 2, 1982, Officer Hale of the Millcreek Police Department was approached by the Appellant. After being told his Miranda rights, Appellant revealed to the officer that he knew about a theft of two homemade speakers, showing where and from what type of vehicle the theft had occurred. The owner later identified the speakers. Appellant testified that he told the officer that a former roommate had committed the crime.

Officer Figaski, also of the Millcreek Police Department, testified that he conversed with Appellant on July 27, 1982, and Appellant led him to a creekbed and recovered a plastic bag containing, among other things, a CB radio. Police discovered that the radio belonged to the same individual who had had the speakers stolen. The radio, however, was found missing sometime after the speakers were taken. Appellant testified that he told the officer that his ex-roommate was also responsible for this crime. Both officers

[ 335 Pa. Super. Page 407]

    testified that Appellant took credit for the ...


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