Admission of Evidence

Commonwealth v. Slattery, 2016 PA Super 99

Posted in Admission of Evidence,PA Superior Court Cases,Pretrial Motions,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions on May 13, 2016

Slattery was convicted of driving with a suspended license and failing to signal. The arresting trooper pulled him over because he did not use a turn signal for at least 100 prior to changing lanes. Turns out you don’t have to do that. 75 Pa.C.S. §3343, dealing with signaling, does not have a requirement of… read more

Commonwealth v. Brown, 2016 PA Super 98

Posted in Admission of Evidence,Constitutional Challenges,PA Superior Court Cases,Statutory Interpretation on May 10, 2016

  Brown and the decedent had a dispute (seemingly over the throwing of a tissue) at a tattoo party. Brown pulled a gun on a third party, whom the decedent claimed Brown would not shoot. Brown did not; he instead shot the decedent. The Superior Court held that an autopsy report, prepared as a result… read more

Commonwealth v. Haslam, 2016 PA Super 97

Posted in Admission of Evidence,PA Superior Court Cases,Pretrial Motions,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions on May 9, 2016

  Haslam was convicted of various charges for dealing drugs. His appeal challenged the lower court’s denial of his motion to suppress. Parole agents went to the home to speak with Haslam’s parolee father about neighborhood complaints concerning the property. The complaints were about traffic to the house and suspicion of guns and drugs inside…. read more

United States v. Vasquez-Algarin, No. 15-1941

Posted in Admission of Evidence,Pretrial Motions,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions,Third Circuit Cases on May 2, 2016

Law enforcement were looking for a homicide suspect (not Vasquez-Algarin; there was no evidence of record that the suspect and Vasquez-Algarin were associated in any way). A Deputy US Marshal received some tips that the suspect was living at an address in Harrisburg. Law enforcement obtained an arrest warrant and went to the location. After… read more

Commonwealth v. Diehl, 2016 PA Super 93

Posted in Admission of Evidence,PA Superior Court Cases,Sufficiency of Evidence on April 28, 2016

A fire chief parked his emergency vehicle diagonally across the two lanes of I-83 and activated his overhead lights. Diehl drove past at 41-59 miles per hour, striking and killing the chief. An expert recreated the scene and testified that he was able to see the overhead lights 3,000 feet away. He further testified that… read more

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

Posted in Admission of Evidence,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions,Third Circuit Cases on April 28, 2016

  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

Commonwealth v. Evans, 2016 PA Super 90

Posted in Admission of Evidence,PA Superior Court Cases,Post-Sentence Motions,Sex Offenses,Sexual Offender Assessment,Statutory Interpretation on April 26, 2016

  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

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

Posted in Admission of Evidence,Plain Error,Prosecutorial Misconduct,Third Circuit Cases on April 20, 2016

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

Commonwealth v. Chapman, No. 682 CAP

Posted in Admission of Evidence,Death Penalty,Statutory Interpretation on March 29, 2016

  The Supreme Court reversed the appellant’s death sentence in this case. As a statutory aggravator, the Commonwealth submitted the appellant’s prior convictions for aggravated assault in New Jersey. NJ does not differentiate between misdemeanors and felonies; instead, they have “degrees” of crimes. The appellant’s convictions were of the fourth degree, which is the lowest,… read more

Commonwealth v. Cole, 2016 PA Super 74

Posted in Admission of Evidence,Jury Deliberations,Sentencing Claims on March 28, 2016

The appellant was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy, and carrying a firearm without a license. During deliberations, the jury asked to see a video that had been introduced during the trial. The lower court, without objection by appellant’s then-counsel, sent a tech paralegal from the district attorney’s office in with a tipstaff to play… read more