Commonwealth v. Weigand

CourtSuperior Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtPARKER, Judge
Citation5 A.2d 385,134 Pa.Super. 603
Decision Date12 April 1939
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. WEIGAND.
5 A.2d 385
134 Pa.Super. 603

COMMONWEALTH
v.
WEIGAND.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

April 12, 1939.


Appeal No. 97, October term, 1939, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions, Philadelphia County, No. 199, January Sessions, 1936; Howard A. Davis, President Judge.

Richard Weigand was convicted of felonious abortion, and he appeals.

Affirmed.

Argued before KELLER, P. J., and CUNNINGHAM, BALDRIGE, STADTFELD, PARKER, RHODES, and HIRT, JJ.

James F. Masterson, of Philadelphia, for appellant.

James W. Tracey, Jr., Asst. Dist. Atty., and Charles F. Kelley, Dist. Atty., both of Philadelphia, for the Commonwealth.

PARKER, Judge.

The defendant appeals to this court from a sentence for the crime of felonious abortion and complains of certain alleged errors in the admission of testimony and in the trial judge's charge to the jury. The judgment must be affirmed.

A girl seventeen years of age died within a few days after she had aborted as a result of the use of some instrument. The defendant was questioned by Detectives May and McHugh with reference to anything that he might know about the crime and he denied any connection with it. He was then taken to the residence of the mother of the deceased where the mother was questioned in defendant's presence as to the circumstances tending to show that the abortion had been produced by the defendant.

Detective May was permitted to testify as to statements made at that time by Mrs. Mayes, the mother of the victim, and

5 A.2d 386

as to the reaction of the defendant to her charges. The detective stated that Mrs. Mayes identified the defendant and said that he was the one who had performed the abortion on her daughter and that she paid him forty dollars for the operation, twenty-five dollars on one visit and fifteen dollars on another visit. Mrs. Mayes had previously testified in greater detail to those same facts. The trial judge very properly permitted counsel for the defendant to cross examine the detective before receiving the evidence.

Defendant contends that the testimony of the detective should not have been admitted because defendant was not specifically asked to affirm or deny in her presence the statements of the mother and because the defendant an hour or more later, when he had gone to police headquarters, did make a denial. We quote from the record:

"Q. Now, Detective May, you did not ask Weigand any questions at all in front of Mrs. Mayes, did you? A. I asked him there if he had anything to say, and he had nothing to say. He didn't deny it or he didn't say yes or he didn't say no."

However, it was shown that the detective had testified at a previous trial as follows :

"Q. So that this testimony appearing in the record: 'Did you ask the defendant any questions in the presence of Mrs. Mayes? A. No, I did not.

"Q. Did you ask the defendant anything? A. Not at the time, no.' Would you say that that would be probably the better recollection of what occurred? A. Well, if I answered that before, counsellor, I did ask that one question, if I recall it right."

Detective McHugh, who accompanied May to the Mayes home, testified that the defendant was not questioned but that he neither admitted nor denied the charge. There was other evidence than the implied admission of guilt sufficient to sustain the verdict.

"Ordinarily, silence, when one is charged with a crime, should not be received as evidence of guilt, and is not admissible for any purpose unless there is other evidence in the case from which guilt may be inferred. But where there is such evidence as in this case, 'silence' when accused of...

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11 practice notes
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • 30 Junio 1943
    ...v. Turza, 340 Pa. 128, 16 A.2d 401; Commonwealth v. Murphy, 92 Pa. Super. 139. In none of these cases, nor in Commonwealth v. Weigand, 134 Pa. Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385, was the accused present voluntarily at the interview in which the accusatory statement was made, the meetings were quite as ......
  • Commonwealth v. Wiand, 291
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 26 Febrero 1943
    ...Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831; Com. v. De Palma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. 756; Com. v. Lisowski, 274 Pa. 222, 117 A. 794; Com. v. Weigand, 134 Pa.Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385. I recognize, as said in Com. v. Zorambo, 205 Pa. 109, at page 112, 54 A. 716, at page 717, that "an accused at a judicial inqu......
  • Commonwealth v. Wiand Appeal Of Reaver.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 2 Marzo 1943
    ...Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831; Com. v. De Palma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. 756; Com. v. Lisowski, 274 Pa. 222, 117 A. 794; Com. v. Weigand, 134 Pa. Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385. I recognize, as said in Com. v. Zorambo, 205 Pa. 109, at page 112, 54 A. 716, at page 717, that “an accused at a judicial inq......
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 28 Enero 1943
    ...of murdering her husband; Com. v. Karmendi, supra, where 30 A.2d 232defendant was accused of murdering her own child; Com. v. Weigand, 134 Pa.Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385, where defendant, charged with committing an abortion, was taken by a police officer to the home of the girl's mother who imme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • 30 Junio 1943
    ...v. Turza, 340 Pa. 128, 16 A.2d 401; Commonwealth v. Murphy, 92 Pa. Super. 139. In none of these cases, nor in Commonwealth v. Weigand, 134 Pa. Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385, was the accused present voluntarily at the interview in which the accusatory statement was made, the meetings were quite as ......
  • Commonwealth v. Wiand, 291
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 26 Febrero 1943
    ...Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831; Com. v. De Palma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. 756; Com. v. Lisowski, 274 Pa. 222, 117 A. 794; Com. v. Weigand, 134 Pa.Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385. I recognize, as said in Com. v. Zorambo, 205 Pa. 109, at page 112, 54 A. 716, at page 717, that "an accused at a judicial inqu......
  • Commonwealth v. Wiand Appeal Of Reaver.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 2 Marzo 1943
    ...Ballon, 229 Pa. 323, 78 A. 831; Com. v. De Palma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. 756; Com. v. Lisowski, 274 Pa. 222, 117 A. 794; Com. v. Weigand, 134 Pa. Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385. I recognize, as said in Com. v. Zorambo, 205 Pa. 109, at page 112, 54 A. 716, at page 717, that “an accused at a judicial inq......
  • Commonwealth v. Vallone.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 28 Enero 1943
    ...of murdering her husband; Com. v. Karmendi, supra, where 30 A.2d 232defendant was accused of murdering her own child; Com. v. Weigand, 134 Pa.Super. 603, 5 A.2d 385, where defendant, charged with committing an abortion, was taken by a police officer to the home of the girl's mother who imme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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