Com. v. Piole

CourtSuperior Court of Pennsylvania
Citation431 Pa.Super. 391,636 A.2d 1143
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, v. Joseph A. PIOLE, Appellant.
Decision Date24 January 1994

Page 1143

636 A.2d 1143
431 Pa.Super. 391
COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania,
Joseph A. PIOLE, Appellant.
Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Argued Nov. 30, 1993.
Filed Jan. 24, 1994.

[431 Pa.Super. 392] Thomas R. Ceraso, Greensburg, for appellant.

Kevin F. McCarthy, Asst. Dist. Atty., Pittsburgh, for Com., appellee.

Before ROWLEY, President Judge, and JOHNSON and HUDOCK, JJ.

ROWLEY, President Judge:

Joseph A. Piole, (hereinafter "appellant") has appealed from the judgment of sentence imposed following his bench trial conviction of one count of Aggravated Assault 1 and one count [431 Pa.Super. 393] of Simple Assault 2. On appeal, he claims that he was prejudiced by the Commonwealth's failure to provide him with the statement of an eye-witness during pre-trial discovery such that he is now entitled to a new trial. Having reviewed this claim in light of the relevant law, we conclude that it is without merit. We affirm.

As a result of a bar fight, appellant was arrested and charged with a single count of Aggravated Assault, and two counts of Simple Assault. We approve and adopt the trial court's accurate summation of the factual background of this case as adduced from the trial testimony:

"On the evening of June 14, 1992, the victim, Lyle Lawver, along with his friends, Rege O'Rourke and Paul Christiann, went to Bellisario's Lounge, located on Duncan Avenue, [in] McCandless Township,

Page 1144

[Allegheny County]. They arrived [at the bar] about 11 o'clock in the evening. Subsequently, Lawver observed his friend, O'Rourke, having a discussion with [appellant]. Lawver observed O'Rourke's mannerisms, which caused him to laugh. [Appellant,] apparently taking objection to Lawver's [amusement,] came around the horseshoe-shaped bar and confronted Lawver, asking if he was some sort of tough guy. Lawver responded [by] telling [appellant] [that] he obviously had a problem with somebody but it had nothing to do with [Lawver]. Lawver then turned his back on [appellant,] feeling threatened. He next remembered a beer bottle being smashed in his face.

Anthony Bellisario, the bar manager, testified that [appellant] was one of four men who were involved in an altercation earlier that evening. Subsequently, the four men began began 'banging other people around.' Bellisario decided [not to serve the four men any more alcoholic beverages]. However, they asked if they could have one more drink, and Bellisario [acquiesced]. He testified: 'And, after I gave them the other round of drinks, it looked like things [had] gotten worse [than they were] before.' Bellisario [also testified] that 10 or 15 minutes later, he observed [appellant][431 Pa.Super. 394] walk behind [Bellisario] to the other side of the bar, where he took a position next to the victim. As Bellisario watched both sides of the bar, he heard a bottle shatter and then observed [appellant] holding the victim with one hand and punching him in the face with the other.

Bartender Cathy Huncheck stated [that] she heard noise on the other side of the bar and then heard glass breaking. When she turned around, she observed [appellant's] arms moving as though he were punching, but [she] had no idea who was on the floor. When [onlookers] picked [the victim] up, she observed that his face was [very] bloody.

Kitchen chef, John Sciulli, testified that he heard broken glass and a lot of noise. He ran over to where the incident occurred and observed [appellant] on top of the victim swinging his arms up and down.

Sandra Lubbert, a real estate office manager, was at Bellisario's [Lounge] that evening because she dated a man who worked there. She observed the victim, apparently leaning against the bar, with several men surrounding him. She then observed [appellant] hit [the victim] with [a] beer bottle, knocking him up against the wall ... behind him. [Appellant] continued his assault [upon the victim] by punching [him] several times in the face as he slid down the wall onto the floor. [Ms. Lubber] observed that the [beer] bottle broke upon impact with Lawver's face and that [appellant] struck [Lawver] at least eight to ten times.

Subsequently, [appellant] admitted to McCandless Township Police Officer Gary W. Anderson that he [had] struck Lawver with a bottle, [but contended] that it was in retaliation [for] being 'sucker-punched.' At trial, however, [appellant] absolutely denied [ever] striking Lawver with a bottle. Th[e] [trial] court found...

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4 cases
  • Com. v. Burke, 6 W.D.2000.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • 17 octobre 2001
    ...violation, the prosecutor cited two cases, Commonwealth v. Bonacurso, 500 Pa. 247, 455 A.2d 1175 (1983), and Commonwealth v. Piole, 431 Pa.Super. 391, 636 A.2d 1143 (1994), for the proposition that the prosecution does not violate discovery rules when it fails to provide the defense with ev......
  • Com. v. Sullivan
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 25 mars 2003
    ...v. Colson, 507 Pa. 440, 490 A.2d 811 (1985); Commonwealth v. Bonacurso, 500 Pa. 247, 455 A.2d 1175 (1983); Commonwealth v. Piole, 431 Pa.Super. 391, 636 A.2d 1143 (1994); Commonwealth v. Battiato, 422 Pa.Super. 285, 619 A.2d 359 (1993); Commonwealth v. Rakes, 398 Pa.Super. 440, 581 A.2d 212......
  • Com. v. Neal
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 24 juin 1998 clear that the waiver of a jury trial has no impact upon either the burden of proof or evidentiary rules. See Commonwealth v. Piole, 431 Pa.Super. 391, 636 A.2d 1143 (1994). Therefore, the claims in question merely assert the existence of a constitutional violation and ineffective assist......
  • Rosenfield v. Pennsylvania Auto. Ins. Plan
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 27 janvier 1994
    ...and affidavits. Id. There is no reason to fail to grant a motion for summary judgment if the record warrants such action. Id. In the [431 Pa.Super. 391] instant case the trial judge who considered the motion for summary judgment was provided with a more current and wider array of documents ......

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