No. 196 Philadelphia, 1983, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Luzerne County, No. 1986 of 1981.
Joseph J. Yeager, Kingston, for appellant.
Joseph Giebus, Assistant District Attorney, Wilkes-Barre, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Wieand, Johnson and Lipez, JJ.
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 476]
Carlton Chew, a prisoner at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas in Luzerne County, was tried by jury and convicted of assault by prisoner*fn1 in connection with an attack upon a guard at the prison facility. On direct appeal from the judgment of sentence, after post-verdict motions had been denied and sentence imposed, Chew challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction and alleges that the court committed various trial errors which require a new trial. We find no merit in these contentions and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of sentence.
In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we view the evidence, together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. The test is whether the evidence, thus viewed, is sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. See: Commonwealth v. Stoyko, 504 Pa. 455, 462, 475 A.2d 714, 718 (1984); Commonwealth v. Monaco, 327 Pa. Super. 369, 375, 475 A.2d 843, 846 (1984); Commonwealth v. Taylor, 324 Pa. Super. 420, 424, 471 A.2d 1228, 1229 (1984). The credibility of witnesses and the weight to be accorded the evidence produced are matters within the province of the trier of fact. Commonwealth v. Smith, 502 Pa. 600, 604, 467 A.2d 1120, 1122 (1983); Commonwealth v. Croll, 331 Pa. Super. 107, 116-117, 480 A.2d 266, 271 (1984).
The Commonwealth's evidence discloses that on December 1, 1981, Andre Gay, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas who was serving a life sentence, viciously attacked Stanley Baron, a prison guard, with a broken mop or broom handle. Carlton Chew and another inmate, Daniel Williams, joined the melee and punched, kicked and restrained Baron while Gay continued to strike
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 477]
him with the club. Another officer, Clement Koschinski, came to Baron's aid and was punched and thrown to the ground by Williams. The scuffle was ended when Lieutenant Thomas Martin arrived and separated the combatants. Baron's injuries included contusions of the head, a fractured nose, a fractured left elbow and bruises. He was semi-conscious, bleeding from head wounds, and in a state of shock when admitted to a local hospital for an overnight stay. Baron missed seventeen days of work as a result of his injuries and was still receiving treatment for the elbow injury at the time of trial.*fn2
The crime of assault by prisoner is defined at 18 Pa.C.S. § 2703 as follows:
A person who has been found guilty and is awaiting sentence to imprisonment, or a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of years in any local or county detention facility, jail or prison or any State penal or correctional institution or other State penal or correctional facility, located in this Commonwealth, is guilty of a felony of the second degree if he, while so confined or committed or while undergoing transportation to or from such an institution or facility in or to which he was confined or committed intentionally or ...