Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HELEN STRAND (11/26/75)

decided: November 26, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HELEN STRAND, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Mitchell S. Lipschutz, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Martin L. Trichon, Philadelphia, for appellee.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 464 Pa. Page 545]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On April 3, 1973, appellant, Helen Strand, was tried by a judge sitting without a jury and found guilty of murder in the second degree and not guilty of violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. Appellant filed post-trial motions, which were denied, and was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. This appeal followed.

Appellant first argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We do not agree. The record, read in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, establishes the following

[ 464 Pa. Page 546]

    facts. On September 30, 1972, appellant and the decedent, John Hill, were engaged in conversation in front of the 1631 Bar on Chadwick Street, Philadelphia, when Norman Gray, the night bartender, arrived for work. After assuming his duties as a bartender and while he had his back turned to appellant, Mr. Gray heard two shots fired. He turned and observed appellant outside the bar with a black gun in her hand and the decedent staggering out the door. Based on these facts, the judge found appellant guilty of murder in the second degree.

In Commonwealth v. Robson, 337 A.2d 573 (1975), this court set forth the test to determine the sufficiency of the evidence. In Robson we stated:

"The test of sufficiency of the evidence is whether, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the trier of fact could reasonably have found that all of the elements of the crime had been established beyond a reasonable doubt."

In the instant case, the evidence establishes that immediately after the bartender heard two shots he turned around and saw appellant with a gun in her hand and the decedent staggering out the door. On these facts, we are satisfied that the fact finder could properly find the appellant's guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. See Commonwealth v. Elvins, 453 Pa. 481, 309 A.2d 421 (1973). At page 578.

Appellant next argues that the not-guilty verdict on the Uniform Firearms indictment is inconsistent with the guilty verdict on the murder indictment and that such inconsistency is reversible error. We do not agree. This Court, in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.