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COMMONWEALTH v. DULANEY (10/04/72)

decided: October 4, 1972.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
DULANEY, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Aug. T., 1970, No. 142, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert Dulaney.

COUNSEL

Anthony D. Pirillo, Jr., for appellant.

Edward G. Rendell and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, and James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen.

Author: Eagen

[ 449 Pa. Page 46]

Robert Dulaney, convicted by a jury of murder in the second degree, appeals from the judgment of sentence of four to fifteen years imprisonment.

The prosecution arose from the fatal stabbing of Leroy Johnson about midnight on a public street in Philadelphia. At trial, the Commonwealth established through the testimony of eyewitnesses that Dulaney and Johnson initially engaged in a verbal argument in a bar; that they then parted and went their separate ways but fortuitously met again a few blocks away where the argument was renewed (this time more heatedly); that Dulaney drew a knife and inflicted the fatal stab wound in Johnson's chest.

The Commonwealth also introduced the testimony of two police officers who stated that following the stabbing they attempted to gain custody of Dulaney by effectuating a voluntary surrender; that twice his parents notified them that Dulaney would submit to arrest at their home but in these instances he failed to appear; that on the third such arranged date, three days after the stabbing, Dulaney was present and taken into custody.

The arresting officers also testified that at the time of the arrest, Dulaney appeared "glassey-eyed" and complained "of not feeling too good" so they escorted him to the Philadelphia General Hospital where a doctor examined him and informed the officers Dulaney was under the influence of narcotics.

Dulaney was then taken to police headquarters where he was immediately given notice of his constitutional

[ 449 Pa. Page 47]

    rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966). According to the police witnesses, although Dulaney may have been under the influence of drugs, he gave every indication of understanding his constitutional rights and answered responsively when asked a series of questions to determine if he understood and waived these rights. Asked to "explain the ...


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