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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. TYRONE DAVIS (03/18/75)

decided: March 18, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
TYRONE DAVIS, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Burton A. Rose, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Jr., Dist. Atty., Richard A. Sprague, 1st Asst. Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Mark Sendrow, Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter, Asst. Dist. Atty., Abraham J. Gafni, Deputy Dist. Atty. for Law, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Roberts, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Manderino, J., joins. Pomeroy, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: O'brien

[ 462 Pa. Page 29]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Tyrone Davis, was convicted by a jury of murder in the second degree. Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to a term of six to fifteen years' imprisonment. This appeal followed.

This appeal arises from the homicide of Vanessa Davis, wife of appellant, on November 12, 1972, in Philadelphia.

The facts surrounding this homicide and confession are as follows: On November 12, 1972, appellant's wife was found dead of multiple stab wounds. Pursuant to the investigation of this homicide, appellant was interviewed at the Police Administration Building on November 12, 1972, the night of the homicide, and again on January 13, 1973. Detective Brown, who was in charge of the investigation, testified that the interviews with appellant were for the purpose of obtaining background information on his wife. At the end of each interview, appellant was allowed to return to his home. On March 29, 1973, at 7:00 a. m., the police arrived at the residence of appellant

[ 462 Pa. Page 30]

    and asked to speak to him. Appellant was taken to the Police Administration Building, arriving at 7:25 a. m. The police took appellant into an interrogation room, warned him of his Miranda rights, and at 7:45 a. m. appellant confessed the homicide of his wife.

Appellant first argues that his confession should have been suppressed because it was the product of an illegal arrest. Assuming arguendo that appellant was illegally arrested, we are nevertheless of the opinion that appellant's confession was admissible, because the confession was not the product of the illegal arrest, but rather an independent act of his own free will.

The testimony of appellant establishes the reason for his confession was not police interrogation; rather, it was his own sense of remorse. Appellant's confession shows in two instances that remorse or conscience motivated his confession rather than his alleged illegal arrest. In his formal confession, appellant told police that he was confessing "because it is bothering me. I want to get it off my mind."*fn1 At trial, appellant contested the voluntariness of his confession, but the jury resolved the issue against him. Finding the motivation for appellant's confession as being his own remorse rather than the police interrogation, we find his confession was voluntary. Cf. Commonwealth v. Daniels, 455 Pa. 522, 317 A.2d 237 (1974). See also Commonwealth v. Bishop, 425 Pa. 175, 228 A.2d 661 (1967).

Appellant next argues that the court erred in permitting the district attorney to cross-examine him regarding a statement that he made to his mother-in-law related to his want of affection for his deceased wife. We do not agree. Evidence tending to show want of affection for one's wife is ...


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