Commonwealth v. Beati, 301-1925

CourtSuperior Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtTREXLER, J.
Citation86 Pa.Super. 567
PartiesCommonwealth v. Sam Beati and Frank Burrell, Appellants
Decision Date14 December 1925
Docket Number302-1925,301-1925

86 Pa.Super. 567

Commonwealth
v.
Sam Beati and Frank Burrell, Appellants

Nos. 301-1925, 302-1925

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

December 14, 1925


Argued October 22, 1925

Appeal by defendants, from judgment of O. & T. Schuylkill County-1925, Nos. 447 P. and 447 T, in the case of Commonwealth v. Sam Beati, and Frank Burrell.

Indictment for sodomy. Before Bechtel, P. J.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Superior Court.

Verdict of guilty on which judgment of sentence was passed. Defendants appealed.

Errors assigned, among others, were various rulings on evidence, answers to points, and the judgment of the Court.

G. H. Gerber, and with him A.D. Knittle, for appellants.

Morris H. Spicker, Asst. District Attorney, and with him Z. F. Rynkiewicz, Asst. District Attorney, and Cyrus M. Palmer, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Orlady, P. J., Porter, Henderson, Trexler, Keller, Linn and Gawthrop, JJ.

OPINION [86 Pa.Super. 568]

TREXLER, J.

When the little girl was brought to the police station and told her story in the presence of the defendants, and accused them of the crime of which they are charged, they said nothing. The proof of their silence under these circumstances was competent. The occurrence was not in the course of a judicial proceeding. Silence when the accused was charged with the crime was a circumstance to be considered by the jury. Com. v. Lisowski, 274 Pa. 222, 117 A. 794; Com. v. Aston, 227 Pa. 112, 75 A. 1019.

The objection that there was not sufficient evidence to convict can not be sustained. It is true that the witness who testified to the details of the crime was of a low order of intelligence and that under a rather protracted and vigorous cross-examination there was contradiction in her narrative but as to the gist of her story she gave a fairly coherent account. As pointed out by the lower court, it was very improbable that she could invent the story and there was apparently no motive for her so doing.

Counsel argues that the witness swore to facts which common experience brands as impossible. We do not so read the testimony. The court very properly left the matter to the jury, with instructions they should determine what thought the witness intended to convey.

We have for very obvious reasons abstained from [86 Pa.Super. 569] any review of the testimony. We find no merit in any of the assignments. The judgments are affirmed and the record remitted to the court below...

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4 practice notes
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 30, 1943
    ...detectives in Commonwealth v. Petrillo, 341 Pa. 209, 227, 228, 19 A.2d 288, 297, or the police in Commonwealth v. Beati and Burrell, 86 Pa. Super. 567, and Commonwealth v. Murphy, 92 Pa. Suprer. 139, or the detectives in Commonwealth v. Weigand, 134 Pa. Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385. Only where th......
  • United States v. Russell, Misc. No. 3719.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • April 4, 1968
    ...had been committed by the relator, the trial judge was clearly correct in permitting the case to go to the jury. Commonwealth v. Beati, 86 Pa.Super. 567 B. Merger of Offenses. The relator contends that a simultaneous conviction for common law and statutory rape arising out of the same incid......
  • Commonwealth v. Nestor
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 11, 1957
    ...testimony of the victim or accomplice alone. Cf. Com. v. Allabaugh, 162 Pa.Super. 490, 58 A.2d 184; Com. v. Sam Beati and Frank Burrell, 86 Pa.Super. 567; Com. v. Dong Lee, 67 Pa.Super. 168. Hoover in the one case and Dietrich in the other were both accomplices and acknowledged sodomists. H......
  • Com. v. Nestor
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 11, 1957
    ...on the testimony of the victim or accomplice alone. Cf. Com. v. Allabaugh, 162 Pa.Super. 490, 58 A.2d 184; Com. v. Beati and Burrell, 86 Pa.Super. 567; Com. v. Dong Lee, 67 Pa.Super. 168. Hoover in the one case and Dietrich in the other were both accomplices and acknowledged sodomists. Howe......
4 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 30, 1943
    ...detectives in Commonwealth v. Petrillo, 341 Pa. 209, 227, 228, 19 A.2d 288, 297, or the police in Commonwealth v. Beati and Burrell, 86 Pa. Super. 567, and Commonwealth v. Murphy, 92 Pa. Suprer. 139, or the detectives in Commonwealth v. Weigand, 134 Pa. Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385. Only where th......
  • United States v. Russell, Misc. No. 3719.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • April 4, 1968
    ...had been committed by the relator, the trial judge was clearly correct in permitting the case to go to the jury. Commonwealth v. Beati, 86 Pa.Super. 567 B. Merger of Offenses. The relator contends that a simultaneous conviction for common law and statutory rape arising out of the same incid......
  • Commonwealth v. Nestor
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 11, 1957
    ...testimony of the victim or accomplice alone. Cf. Com. v. Allabaugh, 162 Pa.Super. 490, 58 A.2d 184; Com. v. Sam Beati and Frank Burrell, 86 Pa.Super. 567; Com. v. Dong Lee, 67 Pa.Super. 168. Hoover in the one case and Dietrich in the other were both accomplices and acknowledged sodomists. H......
  • Com. v. Nestor
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 11, 1957
    ...on the testimony of the victim or accomplice alone. Cf. Com. v. Allabaugh, 162 Pa.Super. 490, 58 A.2d 184; Com. v. Beati and Burrell, 86 Pa.Super. 567; Com. v. Dong Lee, 67 Pa.Super. 168. Hoover in the one case and Dietrich in the other were both accomplices and acknowledged sodomists. Howe......

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