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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CURTIS WILBUR DAVIS (01/29/76)

decided: January 29, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
CURTIS WILBUR DAVIS, APPELLANT (TWO CASES)



COUNSEL

Frank H. Morgan, Jr., Media, for appellant.

Vram Nedurian, Jr., Asst. Dist. Atty., Media, for appellee.

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

Author: Roberts

[ 466 Pa. Page 106]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Curtis Wilbur Davis was arrested in December 1968 and charged with murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and robbery. On September 25, 1969, appellant was found guilty, after a jury trial, of murder in the first degree, voluntary manslaughter and two counts of robbery. On appeal, this Court reversed the judgments of sentence and granted a new trial because of prejudicial remarks made by the district attorney during the trial. Commonwealth v. Davis, 452 Pa. 171, 305 A.2d 715 (1973). On remand, appellant was retried before a jury and found guilty of murder in the first degree and robbery. Judgments of sentence of life imprisonment on the murder count and ten to twenty years, to run consecutively, on the robbery count, were subsequently imposed. On this appeal,*fn1 appellant advances numerous challenges concerning the admissibility of certain evidence, the sufficiency of the evidence, and other errors alleged to have occurred during trial. We find none of these claims to be meritorious and affirm the judgments of sentence.

I

Admissibility of Evidence

Appellant claims that the trial court erred in refusing to suppress evidence because: (1) he was illegally arrested; (2) the search incident to his arrest was overly broad; and (3) the warrant to search his apartment was issued without a showing of probable cause.

Appellant's original arrest and the search of his apartment were made pursuant to warrants issued on December

[ 466 Pa. Page 10720]

, 1968. At that time, he was suspected of the armed robbery of one Newsome. During a search of his apartment following his arrest, numerous items were found, including a weapon which linked appellant to another armed robbery which resulted in a murder. On December 23, 1968, while still in custody, appellant was arrested for crimes arising from this second incident. The conviction for these crimes is the subject of this appeal.*fn2

Appellant claims that the December 20 arrest was illegal because the officers who executed the arrest warrant were outside their jurisdiction. The warrant was issued in Chester, where the robbery occurred, to Chester City Police Officers. They arrested appellant at his work address in the borough of Marcus Hook, located near Chester. Appellant claims that the Act of August 6, 1963, P.L. 511, § 1*fn3 requires a holding that the Chester City Police acted beyond their authority. At the time of appellant's arrest that statute provided:

"Any police officer in the employ of a county, city, borough, town or township may arrest, with or without a warrant, any felon beyond the territorial limits of the political subdivision employing such officer for a felony committed by the felon within the political subdivision employing the police officer if such officer continues in pursuit of the felon after commission of the felony."

However, at the time of his arrest, the Act of March 31, 1860, P.L. 427, § 3, as amended (formerly codified as 19 P.S. § 3) was still in effect. That statute read in relevant part:

"In case any person against whom a warrant may be issued by any judge or alderman of any city, or justice

[ 466 Pa. Page 108]

    of the peace of any county in this commonwealth, for any offense there committed, shall escape, go into, reside, or be in any other city or county out of the jurisdiction of the judge, alderman, or justice of the city or county granting such warrant as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for the person to whom such warrant was originally directed, or the person having such warrant for execution, to execute the same, and arrest such ...


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