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COMMONWEALTH v. NIXON (03/25/74)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: March 25, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
NIXON, APPELLANT

Appeals from judgments of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, March T., 1973, Nos. 45 and 46, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Arlene Nixon.

COUNSEL

C. George Milner, for appellant.

James Garrett, Assistant District Attorney, with him James T. Ranney and David Richman, Assistant District Attorneys, 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

[ 455 Pa. Page 609]

Appellant Arlene Nixon does not deny that on January 12, 1973, she stabbed and killed Belton Carter. At trial before a judge sitting without a jury, appellant contended that she stabbed Carter in self-defense. A confession which had been the subject of an unsuccessful pretrial motion to suppress was admitted into evidence over defense objection. The trial judge found appellant guilty of voluntary manslaughter*fn1 and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.*fn2 Concurrent sentences of two and one-half to eight years and six months to one year imprisonment were imposed. This appeal followed.

The single issue before us is the voluntariness of appellant's confession.*fn3 Review of the record reveals

[ 455 Pa. Page 610]

    no error in the suppression court's conclusion that the confession was the product of "an essentially free and unconstrained choice." Commonwealth v. Riggins, 451 Pa. 519, 525, 304 A.2d 473, 476 (1973) (emphasis omitted); Commonwealth v. Hallowell, 444 Pa. 221, 225-26, 282 A.2d 327, 329 (1971); see Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 U.S. 199, 207-08, 80 S. Ct. 274, 280-81 (1960). Neither do we find error in the court's admission of the confession at trial.

The trial court found appellant guilty of voluntary manslaughter and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. There is no basis for disturbing these verdicts.

Judgments of sentence affirmed.

Disposition

Judgments of sentence affirmed.


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