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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HENRY J. BAILEY (06/03/86)

filed: June 3, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HENRY J. BAILEY, APPELLANT



Appeal from Judgment of Sentence dated April 9, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County at No. 1750-83. Criminal Division.

COUNSEL

Robert J. Donatoni, West Chester, for appellant.

Joseph W. Carroll, III, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Com., appellee.

Rowley, Montemuro and Kelly, JJ.

Author: Kelly

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 52]

This case involves a direct appeal from judgment of sentence imposed upon appellant's conviction of a variety of crimes in relation to an armed robbery of an AM/PM Mini Mart in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The sole issue presented on appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion in failing to grant the appellant's pre-trial motion in limine with respect to a prior conviction for burglary. We find no abuse of discretion, and affirm.

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 53]

On June 13, 1984, after a trial by jury, the appellant, Henry Bailey, was convicted of robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats and a violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. Post-trial motions were filed, argued, and denied.

On April 9, 1985, the appellant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of seven (7) to twenty (20) years on the robbery conviction, four (4) to ten (10) years on the conspiracy conviction, and two (2) to five (5) years on the terroristic threats conviction. All sentences were to be served consecutively to each other and to the sentence he was currently serving for violation of parole on a previous robbery conviction.

The appellant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by ruling that a prior burglary conviction could be used for impeachment purposes. Faced with that ruling the appellant declined to take the stand.*fn1

The admissibility of evidence of prior convictions for the purpose of impeaching a defendant/witness is within the sound discretion of the trial judge and will not be reversed absent an abuse of discretion by the trial judge. Commonwealth v. Roots, 482 Pa. 33, 393 A.2d 364 (1978); Commonwealth v. Kearse, 326 Pa. Super. 1, 473 A.2d 577 (1984). In exercising its discretion, the trial court should consider the factors set forth by our Supreme Court in Roots, supra :

1) the degree to which the commission of the prior offense reflects upon the veracity of the defendant-witness;

2) The likelihood, in view of the nature and extent of the prior record, that it would ...


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