PA Superior Court Cases

Commonwealth v. Derrick Edwards, 2018 Pa. Super. 1

Posted in Batson Challenges,Constitutional Challenges,PA Superior Court Cases,Prosecutorial Misconduct on January 2, 2018

A prosecutor cannot strike a prospective juror because she’s black The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s first published decision of 2018 was no small case. Derrick Edwards was accused of having taken part in eight armed robberies throughout Philadelphia. He was convicted at trial and sentenced to 22 to 44 years’ imprisonment. On appeal, Edwards challenged the… read more

Commonwealth v. Stilo, 2016 PA Super 91

Posted in PA Superior Court Cases,Pretrial Motions,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions on May 17, 2016

  Stilo appealed the denial of his motion to suppress physical evidence. A narcotics officer received a complaint about drug activity at the house in question, and determined that the owner had been previously arrested for narcotics offenses. After setting up surveillance in the afternoon, he observed Stilo arrive, park, and enter the property’s basement…. read more

Commonwealth v. Walker, 2016 PA Super 100

Posted in PA Superior Court Cases,Sex Offenses,Sufficiency of Evidence on May 13, 2016

Walker drove around town asking grossly inappropriate sexual questions of various underage girls. He tried to physically pull the last child he targeted into his car, but she was able to resist and flee. He first challenged the sufficiency of the evidence for his four unlawful contact with a minor convictions. The Information did not… read more

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

Commonwealth v. Volk, 2016 PA Super 95

Posted in Constitutional Challenges,PA Superior Court Cases,PCRA on April 29, 2016

Volk was convicted and sentenced to 2-4 years’ imprisonment plus 3 years’ probation. After his direct appeal was denied, he filed a timely pro se PCRA petition. Counsel amended the petition shortly thereafter. A hearing was held, and briefs were subsequently filed. During the pendency of the PCRA, his probation was revoked and he was… read more

Commonwealth v. Beasley, 2016 PA Super 92

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

Beasley and his friend Knox made bad choices. They fled police, crashed their car, and ran off leaving a gun in the car. When caught, they were in possession of drugs and cash. Knox gave a false name. Knox fled the police again eight months later. An officer later viewed Beasley’s Facebook page (it was… 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

Commonwealth v. Rapak, 2016 PA Super 94

Posted in Commonwealth Appeals,PA Superior Court Cases,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions on April 28, 2016

  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