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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT ALLEN (03/17/76)

decided: March 17, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT ALLEN, APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA V. BOB ALLEN, A/K/A ROBERT ALLEN, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Eugene H. Clarke, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.

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

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Roberts

[ 466 Pa. Page 475]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Robert Allen was convicted by a judge, sitting without a jury, of voluntary manslaughter, simple assault and possession of instruments of crime. The court imposed judgments of sentence of three to ten years in prison on the voluntary manslaughter count,

[ 466 Pa. Page 476]

    five years parole on the possession of instruments of crime count and five years parole on the simple assault count, the parole sentences to be served concurrently, consecutive to the manslaughter sentence. On this appeal,*fn1 appellant challenges both the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the voluntary manslaughter conviction and the definition of "instruments of crime" implicitly used by the trial court. We affirm the judgments of sentence.

When an appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction, we must determine whether, viewing the evidence 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. Commonwealth v. Robson, 461 Pa. 615, 337 A.2d 573 (1975). Viewing the evidence in this way, the Commonwealth established the following:

Appellant and decedent, the woman with whom he lived, returned to the apartment they occupied with her four children, embroiled in an argument. The argument continued in the apartment. When decedent went into the kitchen to place a telephone call, appellant followed her and frustrated the attempt by striking her. They returned to the livingroom. Appellant shouted that decedent and her children were taking advantage of him and went to a closet to obtain a pocket knife. Decedent's sons attempted to keep appellant and decedent apart but failed. Appellant swung the knife at decedent, she grabbed his arm, and they fell to the floor where appellant repeatedly swung the knife at decedent in an attempt

[ 466 Pa. Page 477]

    to stab her. There was no evidence that any of these blows struck decedent. Decedent's sons again attempted to separate them. One of the sons obtained a second knife and wounded appellant in the back. Appellant regained his feet and stabbed the son who had wounded him. This son fled into the hallway of the house, decedent followed him, and appellant pursued them both. In the hallway, ...


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