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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DONALD LINWOOD WATERS (10/03/75)

decided: October 3, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
DONALD LINWOOD WATERS, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Reuben Singer, Philadelphia, for appellant.

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

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Pomeroy

[ 463 Pa. Page 467]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Waters was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree and aggravated robbery. After denial of post-verdict motions, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and to a concurrent sentence of ten to twenty years imprisonment for robbery. This direct appeal

[ 463 Pa. Page 468]

    followed.*fn1 Appellant's sole contention is that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict.

In passing on this question we are, of course, mindful that "'the test of sufficiency of evidence is whether accepting as true all the evidence, together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, upon which the jury could properly have based its verdict, such evidence and inferences are sufficient in law to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.'" Commonwealth v. Carbonetto, 455 Pa. 93, 95, 314 A.2d 304, 305 (1974). See also Commonwealth v. Clark, 454 Pa. 329, 311 A.2d 910 (1973); Commonwealth v. Oates, 448 Pa. 486, 295 A.2d 337 (1972). Furthermore, as verdict winner, the Commonwealth is entitled to have the evidence viewed in a light most favorable to it. Commonwealth v. Long, 460 Pa. 461, 333 A.2d 865, 866 (1975); Commonwealth v. Rife, 454 Pa. 506, 509, 312 A.2d 406 (1973); Commonwealth v. Rankin, 441 Pa. 401, 404, 272 A.2d 886 (1971). We are satisfied that the evidence at trial, examined with these standards in mind, was sufficient to sustain appellant's convictions.

The convictions arose from a bar robbery committed by appellant and two others, during the course of which a patron of the bar was killed. The evidence may be summarized as follows:

At about 11:45 p. m. on the night of January 19, 1972, three men came into the Green Trees Tavern, located at 33rd and Arch Streets in the City of Philadelphia. They entered in single file and were wearing similarly styled hats, called "Sloppy Joes". The appearance of the men and the manner of their entry made it seem to the bartender,

[ 463 Pa. Page 469]

Leonard Nenna, that they were "casing" the premises. His suspicions thus aroused, Nenna pressed a silent alarm button located beneath the bar, an act which he repeated after filing their drink orders. The three men -- the defendant, one Gregory Carlos and a man called "Horse" -- took seats on bar stools across the bar from the cash register. Having served their drinks and while waiting to be paid, Nenna ...


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