Commonwealth v. Ballon

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtSTEWART, J.
Citation229 Pa. 323,78 A. 831
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. BALLON.
Decision Date03 January 1911
78 A. 831
229 Pa. 323

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BALLON.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Jan. 3, 1911.


78 A. 831

Appeal from Court of Oyer and Terminer, Montgomery County.

John Ballon was convicted of murder, and appeals. Affirmed.

Errors assigned were in the following form:

"(1) The court below erred in allowing the jury to consider evidence of attempts to break and enter the murdered man's house several weeks in advance of the date of the actual commission of the crime charged.

"(2) The court below erred in allowing the confession of Felix Faire to be read to the jury, and in not instructing the jury that the circumstances attending the reading of the confession made it at least a quasi judicial proceeding, and therefore the prisoner's silence or other actions were not competent evidence."

Argued before FELL, C. J., and BROWN, MESTREZAT, POTTER, ELKIN, STEWART, and MOSCHZISKER, JJ.

Charles B. Connolly, for appellant.

Chas. D. McAvoy, Asst. Dist. Atty., and J. B. Larzelere, Jr., Dist Atty., for the Commonwealth.

STEWART, J. The victim of this murder was an old man named Johnson, who lived by himself in a humble home in Montgomery county, about 2 1/2 miles from Norristown. Among some he was reputed a man of miserly habits who had accumulated his earnings until they amounted to a considerable sum, which it was supposed he kept either upon his person or secreted about his house. By a written statement voluntarily made shortly after he was taken in custody, the defendant admitted that on the night the assault was made on the old man, and from the effects of which he died within a day or so thereafter, he, in company with three other men, went to Johnson's home about midnight. Singularly enough this written statement in its entirety does not appear in either paper book. All we have before us in regard to its contents is what appears in the judge's charge. This, so far as it goes, we will assume to be a correct recital, since it is not made the subject of complaint. It does not appear that in the statement the defendant indicated any purpose, lawful or otherwise, that he and his companions had in visiting the house of Johnson on this particular occasion. That purpose, whatever it was, is to be derived from the evidence as to what there occurred, and the acts and declarations of the defendant which preceded the occurrence. In the statement he declares that in accompanying his three associates he did not know where they were going or what they had in mind to do. He admits that he did accompany them to the Johnson home, and that when there he saw one of the party break through a cellar window or screen, and saw this man, whom he knew to be armed with a pistol, and another of his companions, enter the cellar of the home through the opening thus made; that shortly thereafter he heard firing within the house; and that then, the kitchen door being...

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18 practice notes
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 30, 1943
    ...after his arrest and 32 A.2d 891while in custody; 3 for example: Commonwealth v. Aston, 227 Pa. 112, 75 A. 1019; Commonwealth v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831; Commonwealth v. De Palma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. 756; Commonwealth v. Carelli, 281 Pa. 602, 127 A. 305; Commonwealth v. Rose, 327 Pa. ......
  • Commonwealth v. Turza
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • November 25, 1940
    ...281 Pa. 602, 606, 127 A. 305; Com. v. Mazarella, 279 Pa. 465, 470, 124 A. 163; Com. v. Brown, 264 Pa. 85, 92, 107 A. 676; Com. v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 327, 78 A. 831; Com. v. Johnson, 213 Pa. 607, 608, 63 A. 134; Com. v. Zorambo, 205 Pa. 109, 112, 54 A. 716. And, in these situations, evasiv......
  • Com. ex rel. Shadd v. Myers
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 7, 1966
    ...v. Turza, 340 Pa. 128, 16 A.2d 401 (1940); Commonwealth v. Carelli, 281 Pa. 602, 127 A. 305 (1925); and, Commonwealth v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831 Shadd also contends that the questioned evidence was constitutionally inadmissible, because the police failed at the time of the confrontat......
  • Com. v. Schultz
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 18, 1952
    ...statement of a confederate read to him may be the basis, under proper circumstances of an inference of assent. Com. v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 327, 78 A. 831. The trial judge did not commit any reversible error in overruling appellant's objection and admitting this evidence as competent, leavi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 30, 1943
    ...after his arrest and 32 A.2d 891while in custody; 3 for example: Commonwealth v. Aston, 227 Pa. 112, 75 A. 1019; Commonwealth v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831; Commonwealth v. De Palma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. 756; Commonwealth v. Carelli, 281 Pa. 602, 127 A. 305; Commonwealth v. Rose, 327 Pa. ......
  • Commonwealth v. Turza
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • November 25, 1940
    ...281 Pa. 602, 606, 127 A. 305; Com. v. Mazarella, 279 Pa. 465, 470, 124 A. 163; Com. v. Brown, 264 Pa. 85, 92, 107 A. 676; Com. v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 327, 78 A. 831; Com. v. Johnson, 213 Pa. 607, 608, 63 A. 134; Com. v. Zorambo, 205 Pa. 109, 112, 54 A. 716. And, in these situations, evasiv......
  • Com. ex rel. Shadd v. Myers
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 7, 1966
    ...v. Turza, 340 Pa. 128, 16 A.2d 401 (1940); Commonwealth v. Carelli, 281 Pa. 602, 127 A. 305 (1925); and, Commonwealth v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831 Shadd also contends that the questioned evidence was constitutionally inadmissible, because the police failed at the time of the confrontat......
  • Com. v. Schultz
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 18, 1952
    ...statement of a confederate read to him may be the basis, under proper circumstances of an inference of assent. Com. v. Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 327, 78 A. 831. The trial judge did not commit any reversible error in overruling appellant's objection and admitting this evidence as competent, leavi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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