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COMMONWEALTH v. ARNOLD (04/28/70)

decided: April 28, 1970.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
ARNOLD, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Jan. T., 1967, No. 230, in case of Commonwealth v. Larry Alan Arnold.

COUNSEL

Irving M. Green, with him Louis H. Ceraso, for appellant.

Gilfert M. Mihalich, Assistant District Attorney, with him Joseph M. Loughran, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice O'Brien joins in this opinion.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 438 Pa. Page 403]

Judgment affirmed.

Disposition

Judgment affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts:

Larry Arnold was tried before a jury on a general charge of murder, convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and sentenced to serve six to twelve years. The only issues raised on this direct appeal concern the propriety of admitting into evidence certain pieces of physical evidence -- two .32 caliber revolvers -- and the constitutionality of certain incriminating statements. Since I believe that the conviction must be reversed because the two revolvers were unconstitutionally seized I will not deal with the more problematical confession issue.

On May 23, 1966, police officers in Westmoreland County discovered the bullet riddled body of one David Pedder. After a preliminary investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police an order was issued to pick up for questioning the victim's wife, Violet Pedder, and an unknown male companion. Since Violet Pedder was then known to be living in York County, two State Police officers stationed in that area proceeded to her home. Upon their arrival they found Violet Pedder, her child and her stepfather, Mr. Hutton, at home.

The officers asked Violet Pedder several questions, among them whether anyone was then living with her. She told the officers that Arnold was living with her and gave them a description of him and his car. The description matched the one sent out from Westmoreland County. The troopers also inquired about the guns, but neither ...


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