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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES MALONE (04/09/86)

submitted: April 9, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JAMES MALONE, APPELLANT



Appeal from the judgment of sentence of February 28, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. 83-10-3021 to 3024.

COUNSEL

Daniel-Paul Alva, Philadelphia, for appellant.

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

Beck, Popovich and Hoffman, JJ. Popovich, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Beck

[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 282]

This is an appeal from judgment of sentence. Appellant was convicted at a bench trial of aggravated assault and other offenses. He received a mandatory minimum 5 to 10 year sentence pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. 9712. Appellant raises four issues. We reverse and remand for a new trial.

Appellant claims first that the court abused its discretion in limiting the substantive testimony of his wife. We agree.

At trial, appellant objected to the proposed testimony of a Commonwealth witness on the ground that he was not given the witness' name or address prior to trial. He asserted this objection on the basis of Pa.R.Crim.P. 305(B)(2)(a), which provides that the court may "order the Commonwealth to allow the defendant's attorney to inspect and copy or photograph any of the following requested items . . .: (a) the names and addresses of eyewitnesses."

The court sustained appellant's objection and excluded the testimony of the proposed witness. The court relied on Rule 305(E), which leaves to a court's discretion the remedy for noncompliance with this Rule.

During appellant's presentation of his defense, he attempted to have his wife testify as to her recollection of the

[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 283]

    events on the night in question. The District Attorney objected to the proposed testimony on the ground that he was not furnished the name of this witness prior to trial. The DA relied on Rule 305(C), which is similar to Rule 305(B). The court reasoned in excluding the testimony that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." The court was presented with the option of continuing the case so that the District Attorney could interview the wife, but the court refused to select this option.

Although a trial court is vested with broad discretion concerning the admission of evidence, this discretion is abused if the judgment exercised is manifestly unreasonable. See Commonwealth v. Lane, 492 Pa. 544, 424 A.2d 1325 (1981). We conclude that the court ...


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