it and her direct testimony had been forcefully brought home to the jurors. Moreover, we are impressed with the fact that the trial judge was more than fair to our Petitioner in his rulings as to the defense counsel's technique of cross-examination. We agree with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the attempted cross-examination was beyond the scope of Timko's direct testimony and, thus, improper. See Commonwealth v. Rolison, 473 Pa. 261, 271, 374 A.2d 509 (1977). Therefore, this aspect of Petitioner's claim will not support the grant of a writ of habeas corpus.
The third aspect of Petitioner's claim, that which involves an allegation that the trial court erred in refusing to enforce a subpoena duces tecum served by Petitioner on Cathy Brooks to produce letters sent her by another co-defendant, Dave Lamberton, is similarly without merit. Petitioner cites Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215, 83 S. Ct. 1194 (1963) in support of his claim that the failure to enforce the subpoena constitutes error significant enough to support reversal of Rolison's conviction. However, the thrust of Brady, supra, is to require prosecutors to relinquish any potentially exculpatory material to the defense. Since there is no inkling that the prosecution in this case failed to divulge anything to the defense which it had any duty to divulge, we fail to see the relevance of Brady to this case. We agree with the Magistrate that Petitioner's intent is actually to challenge an evidentiary ruling by the trial court. Because such rulings are within the sound discretion of such courts and are not of constitutional proportion unless they deprive the accused of a fundamentally fair trial, we cannot find that the failure to subpoena these letters, which would have been used to attack Miss Brooks' already dubious credibility, rendered the trial fundamentally unfair. Going further, the introduction of these letters would have been allowed had defense counsel satisfied the trial court of their relevance -- something defense counsel was unable to do.
We find, therefore, that the trial court acted properly in refusing to enforce the subpoena.
Petitioner's last claim is that Miss Brooks should not have been allowed to testify at all until a separate hearing had been held to determine her competency. We are impressed by the fact that the trial judge had had ample opportunity to observe Miss Brooks before the Rolison trial. She had testified before him several weeks before in a related trial and he had taken her own guilty plea after satisfying himself that she knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily was waiving her right to trial. Moreover, he had read hospital records and the report of a court-appointed psychiatrist which, taken together, had convinced him of her competency. Our review of her testimony does nothing to weaken our conviction that the trial judge's decision to allow her to take the stand was correct. Her testimony was, if not grammatically elegant, responsive, lucid and to the point. Therefore, since the competency of a witness is a matter which normally addresses itself to the trial court, which has the unique opportunity to observe the demeanor and expression of the witness, we are loathe to second-guess the trial judge here. See U.S. v. Hicks, 389 F.2d 49 (3rd Cir. 1968).
In summation, we find that none of the grounds relied upon by the Petitioner herein compels a conclusion that his conviction should be disturbed. This Court, therefore, adopts the Magistrate's Report as its own opinion in this matter and issues the following.
AND NOW, this 19th day of June, 1985, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
1. Petitioner's application for a writ of habeas corpus is denied.
2. Judgment is hereby entered in Respondents' favor and the Clerk of Courts is directed to close this case.