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COMMONWEALTH v. MYERS (07/02/70)

decided: July 2, 1970.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MYERS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Sept. T., 1967, No. 1444, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Clifford Myers.

COUNSEL

Lawrence R. Watson, II, with him Nix, Randolph & Watson, for appellant.

Mark Sendrow, Assistant District Attorney, with him James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.

Author: Eagen

[ 439 Pa. Page 382]

Clifford Myers was convicted by a jury of murder in the second degree. Post-trial motions were denied, and a prison sentence of 7 to 16 years was imposed. This appeal then followed. We affirm.

The sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the conviction is not disputed, but we have studied the record and are completely satisfied that it amply supports the jury's verdict.

The Commonwealth's evidence established the following facts:

On the night of August 4, 1967, Myers became engaged in an altercation with James Jordan, another patron in Al's Bar in Philadelphia, during which he hit Jordan over the head with a revolver; a gunshot was fired but no one was injured; about 7 to 10 minutes

[ 439 Pa. Page 383]

    later, Myers and Charles Amey, a bartender in the establishment, were observed standing within a couple of feet of each other on the sidewalk in front of the bar having an argument; Amey was urging Myers to "take it easy and go ahead home"; a gunshot was then heard and Amey fell to the pavement; Myers and another individual drove Amey to a hospital where he died from a gunshot wound of the chest; some gunpowder residue was found around a hole under the left armpit in the front portion of a shirt he was wearing; the police were called and upon arriving at the hospital, they searched the automobile and found bloodstains on the rear seat and a .38 caliber detective special revolver on the floor in the rear; the revolver contained three live cartridges and two spent cartridges, and it was registered in Myers' name; shortly after Amey was shot, a spent cartridge was found in front of Al's Bar and tests established that it had been fired from the revolver found in the automobile.

The defendant did not offer any testimony at trial. While no one testified at trial to seeing Myers shoot Amey, the evidence was sufficient to warrant such a finding beyond a reasonable doubt.

The commission of a crime and the accused's connection therewith may be established by circumstantial evidence if the facts and circumstances are of such a character as to establish the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt: Commonwealth v. Simpson, 436 Pa. 459, 260 A.2d 751 (1970). And in determining the sufficiency of the evidence, be it direct or circumstantial, the test is whether accepting as true all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences arising therefrom, upon which if believed the jury could properly have based its verdict, it is sufficient in law to ...


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