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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM SMITH (01/17/85)

submitted: January 17, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM SMITH, APPELLANT



No. 755 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered February 17, 1982, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Criminal Division at No. 1829-1832 October Term, 1980.

COUNSEL

Joseph S. O'Keefe, Norristown, for appellant.

Jane C. Greenspan, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Olszewski, Del Sole and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 568]

Appellant, William Smith, takes this appeal from the judgment of sentence entered following his conviction by a jury for robbery, possessing instruments of crime, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person. Appellant raises four issues for our review:

A. Did the learned trial court err in allowing the Commonwealth to introduce evidence of a prior arrest of the defendant?

B. Did the learned trial court err in admitting into evidence out-of-court conversations between a Commonwealth witness and the defendant's stepmother?

C. Did the learned trial court err in denying defendant's request for a mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct?

D. Was trial counsel ineffective in failing to object to the introduction of testimony of the defendant's prior arrest as well as failing to object to the hearsay testimony of the Commonwealth's witnesses?

Finding none of appellant's issues to have merit, we affirm.

On September 9, 1980, at 12:45 a.m., appellant entered Caesar's Pike Bar in Philadelphia. Because appellant had been arrested for burglarizing this same bar just three and one-half months previously, the barmaid told appellant that he was not welcome and asked him to leave. Appellant argued with the barmaid and, when another customer attempted to intervene, appellant struck him. Appellant then started a destructive imbroglio -- throwing chairs and breaking glasses with an axe handle he had with him. During his rampage, appellant threatened to kill the barmaid and threw a stool at her, injuring her back. Appellant then began pounding on the cash register with the axe handle, saying, "They said I tried to rob this mother-fucker. This time I will really rob it." Appellant was still attempting to open the cash register when the police arrived.

Appellant first argues that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of appellant's prior arrest for robbing the same bar three ...


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