Commonwealth v. Rapak, 2016 PA Super 94

  This was a Commonwealth appeal of an order suppressing evidence. The trial court held that the four corners of warrant at issue did not establish probable cause. The Superior Court reversed. The affidavit contained sufficient allegations to support a finding of probable cause: specifically, marijuana plants were located in a difficult to access location… read more

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United States v. Jamil Murray, No. 15-2054

  The district court denied Murray’s motion to suppress and he entered a conditional guilty plea reserving his right to challenge the suppression ruling. The Third Circuit affirmed. Police were investigating prostitution along Route 1 in Bensalem. A hotel owner gave them a tip about a green Cadillac being involved in prostitution. Later, a woman… read more

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Commonwealth v. Evans, 2016 PA Super 90

  Evans was a registered sex offender as the result of a previous case. He entered a negotiated guilty plea to various charges based on illegal sexual contact with a minor and was sentenced to twelve and one-half to twenty-five years’ incarceration. Before sentencing, he was ordered to undergo a SOAB assessment. The SOAB did… read more

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Commonwealth v. Flor, 708 CAP

Flor appealed the PCRA court’s order granting the Commonwealth’s motion for production of the complete records of trial counsel (which was composed of 30,000 pages). Flor disarmed a police officer while in hospital custody; he shot an EMT and three police officers, killing one. After pleading guilty, a jury sentenced him to death. Flor’s PCRA… read more

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United States v. Victor Lopez, No. 14-4610

Lopez was convicted for being a felon in possession of a handgun after a jury trial. Police testified that it was a routine job. Lopez testified that police framed him because he would not identify the true possessor of the gun, who he claimed had escaped the scene. On appeal, Lopez asserted that the prosecutor… read more

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Commonwealth v. L.P., 2016 PA Super 89

  This was a Commonwealth appeal from a pretrial order granting decertification in a direct-file case. The fifteen-year-old juvenile felt disrespected at a dance. After leaving, he sought out a friend; they returned and opened fire. No one was killed, but shotgun pellets did strike and injure some people. At the decertification hearing, an expert… read more

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Commonwealth v. B.H., 2016 PA Super 86

B.H. was adjudicated delinquent for sexual assault and rape. Originally, he agreed to admit to the charge of sexual assault and be adjudicated; part of the agreement was that there would be a finding of fact without adjudication on the rape charge. If he did not comply with terms of the imposed programs, he might… read more

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Commonwealth v. Sodomsky, 2016 PA Super 84

The trial court in three separate instances granted Sodomsky’s motion to suppress child pornography found on his computer by a Circuit City technician and police. The technician found one file and called police, who came to the store and watched the technician play the video. Based on the plain sight exception to the warrant requirement,… read more

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Commonwealth v. Romero & Castro, 2016 PA Super 87

This was a Commonwealth appeal of an order granting suppression. Appellees were married and shared a home. Husband’s brother absconded from a halfway house. Parole agents determined that his most likely residence was Appellants’ home. After obtaining an arrest warrant, a fugitive team went to Appellees’ home, stated who they were looking for, and were… read more

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Commonwealth v. Taylor, 2016 PA Super 83

This was an en banc appeal from two indirect criminal contempt convictions. There was a PFA order against Taylor prohibiting threatening, harassing, and related contact toward his wife. The PFA order permitted text messages regarding legitimate issues involving the couple’s children. He was tried for two separate contacts with her during the course of divorce… read more

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