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COMMONWEALTH v. PRICE (04/04/73)

decided: April 4, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
PRICE, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Mifflin County, No. 104 of 1970, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Leslie Liza Price.

COUNSEL

Brian E. Appel, with him Bernard L. Segal, and Segal, Appel & Natali, for appellant.

Horace J. Culbertson, former District Attorney, and Special Acting District Attorney, with him Thomas M. Torquato, and Culbertson & Torquato, Attorneys for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Packel, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J. Cercone, J., joins in this dissenting opinion.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 224 Pa. Super. Page 113]

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Disposition

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:

In this appeal, appellant contends that her conviction for possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription must be reversed, because the evidence used to convict her was obtained through a nonconsensual, warrantless search.

Appellant and her companion, Steven Frank, students at Pennsylvania State University, were approached by two state troopers on the evening of April 22, 1970. Allegedly, the State Police came upon the scene when they were alerted by motorists that they had seen two young people in a field alongside Route 322 engaged in some sort of sexual activity. As the troopers approached, appellant rose to her feet, and by the testimony of Trooper Shellenberger, appeared to have "a slight staggering gait" and to be "more or less giddish". He testified that appellant's speech was incoherent and broken. Suspecting that the appellant was under the influence of drugs, he "asked Miss Price, being that she was a lady, if she had any weapons on her", and noticing a bulge in her denim pants, "what was in her pockets". Appellant reached into her pocket and removed one capsule and one wooden pipe, which she handed to Trooper Shellenberger.

Appellant was then arrested and taken to the State Police Barracks. Appellant was tried on September 8, 1971. A jury convicted her of the charge against her, and she was subsequently sentenced to pay costs of prosecution and a fine of five hundred ($500.00) ...


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