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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROYCE KERCHNER (04/28/78)

decided: April 28, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROYCE KERCHNER, APPELLANT



No. 53 May Term, 1977, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division of York County, Pennsylvania, at No. 937 August Sessions, 1974

COUNSEL

Clayton R. Wilcox, Gettysburg, for appellant.

Donald L. Reihart, Dist. Atty., Floyd P. Jones, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Eagen, C. J., and Roberts and Nix, JJ., believing the evidence is sufficient, would affirm the judgment of sentence. Manderino, J., joined by Pomeroy and O'Brien, JJ., would reverse the judgment of sentence and discharge appellant. Manderino, J., filed an Opinion in Support of Reversal in which Pomeroy and O'Brien, JJ., joined.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 478 Pa. Page 349]

ORDER

The Court being equally divided, the judgment of sentence is affirmed.

[ 478 Pa. Page 350]

OPINION IN SUPPORT OF REVERSAL

MANDERINO, Justice.

Appellant, Royce Kerchner, was convicted in a non-jury trial of murder in the third degree. Post-verdict motions were denied, and sentence of three and one-half to seven years imprisonment was imposed. This appeal followed.

Appellant argues in this appeal that the evidence introduced at trial was insufficient to sustain the court's verdict of guilt. I agree, and would therefore reverse the judgment of sentence and order appellant discharged.

The oft stated test for reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence in a criminal case is:

"'Whether, accepting as true all the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, upon which if believed the [fact-finder] could properly have based its verdict, it is sufficient in law to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime or crimes of which he has been ...


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