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COMMONWEALTH v. GLADDEN (11/16/73)

decided: November 16, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH, APPELLANT,
v.
GLADDEN



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, April T., 1971, Nos. 1432 and 1433, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert Gladden.

COUNSEL

David Richman, Assistant District Attorney, with him Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Melvin J. Greenberg, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent). Opinion by Jacobs, J.

Author: Jacobs

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 14]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from the sustaining of a demurrer to its evidence in a non-jury case in which the defendant-appellee was accused of unlawfully carrying a firearm without a license in a

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 15]

    vehicle*fn1 and of feloniously possessing the narcotic drug heroin.*fn2

"The standard to be applied in ruling upon a demurrer is whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant the jury in finding the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Commonwealth v. Henderson, 451 Pa. 452, 454, 304 A.2d 154, 156 (1973). Inferences reasonably drawn from the evidence of record which would support a guilty verdict are to be given effect. Commonwealth v. Collins, 436 Pa. 114, 259 A.2d 160 (1969); Commonwealth v. Dennis, 211 Pa. Superior Ct. 37, 234 A.2d 53 (1967). And "the evidence must be read in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth's case." Commonwealth v. Zeringo, 214 Pa. Superior Ct. 300, 302, 257 A.2d 692, 693 (1969); see Commonwealth v. Bey, 221 Pa. Superior Ct. 405, 292 A.2d 519 (1972).

The evidence supporting the prosecution consisted of a ballistics report, a drug analysis, and testimony of a Philadelphia highway patrolman who arrested appellee.*fn3 The officer testified that on February 26, 1971, at approximately 9:15 p.m., he had stopped a car in Philadelphia which appellee, accompanied by a male passenger, was driving.*fn4 He stated that upon request appellee alighted from the vehicle and produced his driver's license and car registration card, and that the passenger

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 16]

    also alighted. The officer testified that he observed an open bag containing "quite a bit" of loose paper money, found to total $629, on the front seat's center armrest; according to his testimony, he opened the car door and noticed at that time the handle of a revolver protruding from under the front passenger's seat. In retrieving the weapon, the officer testified, he discovered alongside its barrel a bag containing 75 glazed paper packets of white powder. The car, he said, belonged to appellee.

To this evidence, with respect to both the firearm offense and the narcotic offense, a demurrer was sustained on behalf of appellee. It was the lower court's view that a necessary element of possession -- intent to control -- had not been shown, the evidence being ...


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