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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GILBERT PETERSON (12/02/77)

decided: December 2, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GILBERT PETERSON, APPELLANT



No. 1843 October Term, 1976, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County imposed May 19, 1976, at No. 94 January Term, 1975., Criminal Section

COUNSEL

Cregg E. Mayrosh, Assistant Public Defender, Hellertown, for appellant.

Allan B. Goodman, Assistant District Attorney, Bethlehem, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ.

Author: Price

[ 251 Pa. Super. Page 462]

On June 12, 1975, following a jury trial, appellant was found guilty of robbery*fn1 and conspiracy.*fn2 Post-trial motions

[ 251 Pa. Super. Page 463]

    were filed, argued and subsequently denied by a court en banc. This appeal raises the single issue of the sufficiency of the evidence. Our review of the record convinces us that the evidence was indeed sufficient to support the convictions, and we therefore affirm the judgment of sentence.

The charges against appellant stemmed from the December 17, 1974, armed robbery of J's Submarine Shop in Easton, Pennsylvania. David Forker and Betsy Kels, employees at J's, described the robbers as two black males. The victims were later able to identify Robert Johnson*fn3 as one of the perpetrators. Officer James T. Serfass of the Easton police was assigned to cruise downtown Easton on the night of December 17. Within a period of approximately one hour prior to the robbery, Officer Serfass observed appellant on two occasions at locations within eight blocks from J's. At 9:25 p. m., the officer saw appellant, whom he knew by name, walking with Robert Johnson. At 10:15 p. m., Officer Serfass observed appellant seated in a parked 1961 green Chevrolet with three other blacks. The officer noted the car's license number and continued on his way. Officer Stephen Homoki, also on patrol, noticed appellant with Robert Johnson and two other black males at 9:30 p. m. within the same eight block area.

Two witnesses testified regarding separate incidents involving a green, 1961 Chevrolet and occurring in the immediate vicinity of the robbery. Robert Parvin noted a greenish or turquoise colored 1961 Chevrolet on 11th Street near J's at about 10:30 p. m. The car was double-parked with its lights off, and its sole occupant was the black male driver. As Parvin pulled his car into an alley to turn around, the Chevrolet's parking lights were turned on and it proceeded down 11th Street at a high rate of speed.

C. Randall Murray, a newspaper reporter, was informed of the robbery by phone and drove to the scene in his automobile.

[ 251 Pa. Super. Page 464]

Around 10:30 p. m., as Murray turned his car down an alley in the vicinity of J's, he saw a green 1961 Chevrolet without lights coming rapidly toward him. The car had at least two ...


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