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COMMONWEALTH v. POWELL (10/04/72)

decided: October 4, 1972.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
POWELL, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, April T., 1966, Nos. 3830 and 3831, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gregory Powell.

COUNSEL

Mary Bell Hammerman, for appellant.

Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, with him James J. Wilson, Assistant District Attorney, 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 Roberts.

Author: Roberts

[ 449 Pa. Page 127]

Appellant Gregory Powell was tried by a jury in the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia and found guilty of first degree murder and aggravated robbery. After denial of post-trial motions a sentence of life imprisonment

[ 449 Pa. Page 128]

    was imposed. Appellant on this direct appeal*fn1 contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction, and the district attorney knowingly suppressed information favorable to the defense. Finding no merit in either contention, we affirm.

It is axiomatic that "[i]n reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction we must review the entire record, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth." Commonwealth v. Young, 446 Pa. 122, 123, 285 A.2d 499, 500 (1971); Johnson Appeal, 445 Pa. 270, 273, 284 A.2d 780, 781 (1971). So viewed, the record discloses that: A Mr. Holmes testified that on the afternoon of February 26, 1966, appellant approached him and declared his intention of "getting" the pocketbooks of two approaching ladies. Within five minutes of that announcement, Rose and Sarah Feldman were assaulted and robbed. Miss Rose Feldman testified that while she and her sister, Miss Sarah Feldman, were returning from shopping, a light-skinned Negro of medium build, a description matching that of appellant, attacked them with a "stick . . . like iron" and took their purses.

Mrs. Anita Lopez testified that on the afternoon of February 26, 1966, she heard screams from below her apartment and looked down from her window in time to see a single Negro male fleeing two ladies, Misses Sarah and Rose Feldman. As a result of injuries sustained during the assault, Miss Sarah Feldman died of hemorrhaging of the brain and Miss Rose Feldman was hospitalized.

As this Court noted in Commonwealth v. Powell, 428 Pa. 275, 277-78, 241 A.2d 119, 120 (1968), proof

[ 449 Pa. Page 129]

    beyond a reasonable doubt can be established by circumstantial evidence. Here the Commonwealth established that within minutes of the incident appellant indicated his intentions of committing the crime. One of the victims of the assault gave a description of her assailant corresponding with appellant's physical features. An eyewitness observed only one man fleeing the scene of the crime. We have no hesitancy in concluding, as did this Court in Commonwealth v. Powell, ...


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