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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. WHITING v. RUNDLE. (03/17/64)

March 17, 1964

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. WHITING, APPELLANT,
v.
RUNDLE.



Appeal, No. 141, Jan. T., 1964, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, at No. 63-8396, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Charles Edward Whiting v. A. T. Rundle, Superintendent. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Charles Edward Whiting, appellant, in propria persona.

William C. Cahall, III, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 414 Pa. Page 18]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

The appellant, after indictment and trial, was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree. The sentence was fixed at life imprisonment. Following the denial of post trial motions and impositions of sentence, an appeal to this Court resulted in an affirmance of the judgment: Commonwealth v. Whiting, 409 Pa. 492, 187 A.2d 563 (1963).

Subsequently, the appellant instituted two actions of habeas corpus, both of which were dismissed without hearing. We are here concerned with an appeal from

[ 414 Pa. Page 19]

    an order in the second of these proceedings.*fn1 It is without merit.

Appellant first complains that he was arrested without a warrant and that his room was likewise searched without the prior issuance of a search warrant.

The facts incident to the crime and defendant's arrest are fully set forth in this Court's recent opinion, overruling the original appeal from the judgment, and need not be repeated in detail here. However, it must be noted that the record discloses that the defendant was arrested within hours after the victim was found stabbed and lying in a pool of blood in his tailor shop; that a woman living in an apartment immediately above heard the quarrel and screams coming from below; that she then looked out of her window and saw a man leaving the premises through a rear exit; that a short time later she saw a man of the same build and appearance a short distance from the scene; that at first she could not remember his name, but afterwards remembered and realized that it was the defendant whom she casually knew. When this information was reported to the police, they went looking for the defendant and in the course of taking him into custody searched the room where he lived. Under such circumstances, this was a lawful arrest and the search as an incident thereto was valid and proper.

Where a police officer has knowledge of facts and circumstances, which are sufficient to warrant a man of reasonable caution to believe that a certain individual has committed a felony, he may arrest without the necessity of a prior issuance of a warrant. The fact that his knowledge is based on hearsay does not destroy its role in ...


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