George Retos, Jr., Washington, for appellant.
George B. Stegenga, Washington, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Rowley, Del Sole and Montgomery, JJ. Del Sole, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 508]
On January 16, 1982, appellant Michael John Fuller, a Waynesburg police officer, shot and killed Celia JoAnn McGilton while responding to a complaint of "a crazy man . . . running around with a deer rifle." Subsequently, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter following a jury trial before the Honorable Glenn Toothman. Post-trial motions were denied, appellant was sentenced and this direct appeal was filed. Three issues are raised herein:
1. Whether the entire jury panel should have been excused prior to trial.
2. Whether defense counsel should have been permitted to cross-examine a Commonwealth witness regarding
[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 509]
prior incidents of violence to impeach the witness's credibility.
3. Whether the court should have permitted appellant to present evidence to show that the jury considered or received knowledge of a prior police brutality case in which appellant was involved.
We reject appellant's first two contentions; however, for the reasons that follow, we remand for an evidentiary hearing on the third issue.
Appellant's first argument, that the entire jury panel should have been excused, is based on the following exchange between the court and a prospective juror:
BY THE COURT: Do any of you have any knowledge of any previous case involving any of the parties in this case, that case occurring ...