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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EDWARD BAKER (03/17/76)

decided: March 17, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
EDWARD BAKER, APPELLANT. (TWO CASES)



COUNSEL

James J. DeMarco, D. L. Marshall, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., David Miebelman, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 466 Pa. Page 482]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Edward Baker was convicted after a jury trial of murder in the first degree, burglary, robbery and conspiracy. The court imposed a sentence of life imprisonment on the murder conviction and sentences of ten to twenty years imprisonment, to run concurrently with the life sentence, on the robbery and burglary convictions. Sentence was suspended on the conspiracy conviction. This appeal ensued.*fn1

Appellant raises three issues: (1) whether there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions; (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion by finding witness Donohue Wise competent to testify; and (3) whether the jury should have been "specifically advised" of the behavioral effect of drugs Wise was taking. We affirm the judgments of sentence.

I

Appellant contends, in his motion in arrest of judgment, and on this appeal that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.*fn2 The test for assessing

[ 466 Pa. Page 483]

    the sufficiency of the evidence in a criminal case is whether, viewing all of the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth and drawing all reasonable inferences favorable to the Commonwealth, there is sufficient evidence to enable the trier of fact to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. See Commonwealth v. Green, 464 Pa. 557, 566, 347 A.2d 682, 686 (1975); Commonwealth v. Robson, 461 Pa. 615, 625, 337 A.2d 573, 578 (1975).

Appellant argues that when the record is considered without the testimony of Donohue Wise there is insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction. Although we find, infra, no abuse of discretion by the trial court in allowing Wise to testify, we note that in assessing the sufficiency of the evidence all evidence actually received at trial is considered whether the rulings thereon were right or wrong. We will not grant a motion in arrest of judgment on a diminished record. See Commonwealth v. Terenda, 433 Pa. 519, 523, 252 A.2d 635, 637 (1969); Commonwealth v. Maybee, 429 Pa. 222, 226-27, 239 A.2d 332, 335 (1968); Commonwealth v. Tabb, 417 Pa. 13, 16, 207 A.2d 884, 886 (1965).

On December 20, 1973, Steven Gibbons was found dead in his home. The house had been thoroughly ransacked. The body of the deceased was bound and gagged with paper stuffed in the mouth and an ice pick plunged downward into the nape of the neck. A physician from the office of the medical examiner testified for the Commonwealth that death resulted from the stabbing, strangulation and a severe beating ...


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