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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES HENRY TURNER (06/02/78)

decided: June 2, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JAMES HENRY TURNER, APPELLANT (TWO CASES)



Nos. 467 and 479 January Term, 1976, Appeal from the Judgments of Sentence imposed by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, at May Term, 1974, No. 1752, 1754, 1807

COUNSEL

Herbert L. Olivieri, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Edward G. Rendell, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Deputy Dist. Atty. for Law, Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., James Garrett, Asst. Dist. Attys., for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Larsen, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Roberts, J., filed a concurring opinion. Eagen, C. J., and Pomeroy and Nix, JJ., concurred in the result.

Author: Larsen

[ 478 Pa. Page 614]

OPINION

Appellant was tried by a jury and found guilty of first degree murder, robbery and conspiracy. Following the denial of post-trial motions, appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment. In his appeal to this Court, appellant raises two issues, both of which are without merit.

Appellant's first contention is that his case should have been dismissed under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(a)(1) because he was not tried within the mandatory 270 days of the filing of the complaint against him.*fn1 Appellant admits that on the 270th day, the case was called for trial, a panel of jurors sworn and the voir dire examination begun. However, appellant argues that because there was an insufficient number of jurors for the complete voir dire examination process on that day, the trial should not be deemed to have

[ 478 Pa. Page 615]

    commenced on that day (270th day). We hold that the trial commenced on the 270th day and the fact that there was not a sufficient number of jurors available for the whole voir dire process is of no consequence.

Appellant's second contention is that statements made by appellant's co-defendant, which, in themselves, were factually sufficient to establish the probable cause that was necessary to arrest appellant, should not have been used to establish said probable cause because subsequent to appellant's arrest, these statements were suppressed at the co-defendant's trial.*fn2 Probable cause may be based on illegally obtained evidence; thus, the fact that the co-defendant's statements were subsequently suppressed at the co-defendant's trial is of no consequence to the issue of whether said statements provided sufficient probable cause to arrest appellant. It would create chaos to have law enforcement officials guessing whether some court in the future will suppress factually reliable statements.

The judgments of sentence are ...


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