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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES FARMER (06/28/76)

decided: June 28, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JAMES FARMER, ALSO KNOWN AS THOMAS FARMER, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at Nos. 1798 1800 November Term, 1974. NO. 1089 OCTOBER TERM, 1975.

COUNSEL

Joseph N. Bongiovanni, III, Philadelphia (Court-appointed), for appellant.

Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., David F. Michelman, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Spaeth, J., files a dissenting opinion, in which Cercone, J., joins.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 241 Pa. Super. Page 375]

On November 7, 1974, Miss Vanselle Hopson was standing on a street corner in Philadelphia with an uncle and a brother, waiting for a bus, when two men approached her unobserved. One of the men, appellant Thomas Farmer, grabbed Miss Hopson's pocketbook and punched her in the face, and the two men then dashed across the street in front of a passing car. Miss Hopson's brother chased and caught one of the thieves, and the other, appellant, was soon apprehended by the police. Appellant was tried on March 24, 1975 before a judge sitting without a jury, was found guilty of simple assault, robbery, and criminal conspiracy, and was sentenced to a term of six months to one year imprisonment on the robbery conviction. The only issue before our Court is whether sufficient evidence was presented to convict appellant of robbery.

ยง 370*fn1 of the new Crimes Code defines robbery as follows:

(1) A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:

(i) inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;

(ii) threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury; or

(iii) commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree.

(2) An act shall be deemed "in the course of committing a theft" if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in flight after the attempt or commission.

Appellant grabbed Miss Hopson's pocketbook ...


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