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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GERALD O'BRYANT (07/14/78)

decided: July 14, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GERALD O'BRYANT, APPELLANT



No. 406 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia, Trial Division, Criminal Section, September Term, 1976, No. 796.

COUNSEL

Paul J. Burgoyne, Philadelphia, for appellant.

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

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 479 Pa. Page 536]

OPINION OF THE COURT

In a non-jury trial, the court found appellant guilty of murder of the third degree and possession of instruments of crime generally. On April 14, 1977, the court heard and denied appellant's post-verdict motions. Immediately thereafter, the court sentenced appellant to five to fifteen years imprisonment on the murder conviction and to a concurrent term of two and one half to five years imprisonment on the

[ 479 Pa. Page 537]

    possession charge. This appeal from the judgment of sentence imposed on the murder charge followed.*fn1

Appellant's sole contention is that the suppression court erred in denying his motion to suppress the statement appellant gave to homicide detectives following his arrest. Specifically, he alleges that 1) any waiver of Miranda rights was invalid as a matter of law because his written statement contained "no evidence on its face that he was given proper warnings in accordance with Miranda v. Arizona," 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966); and 2) he was unable to make a knowing, voluntary and intelligent waiver of his rights because he voluntarily ingested medication before his interrogation. We find neither contention meritorious and affirm the judgment of sentence.*fn2

On appeal from denial of a suppression motion, this Court must consider only the evidence presented by the Commonwealth and so much of the evidence for the defense as, fairly read in the context of the record as a whole, remains uncontradicted. E. g., Commonwealth v. Hughes, 477 Pa. 180, 383 A.2d 882 (1978); Commonwealth v. Brown, 473 Pa. 562, 375 A.2d 1260 (1977); Commonwealth v. Goodwin, 460 Pa. 516, 333 A.2d 892 (1975). Where the suppression court's findings have ample support in the record, they may not be disturbed on appeal. Commonwealth v. Hughes, supra; Commonwealth v. Bundy, 458 Pa. 240, 328 A.2d 517 (1974); Commonwealth v. Stafford, 451 Pa. 95, 301 A.2d 600 (1973).

Appellant first contends the Commonwealth failed to establish, by a preponderance of ...


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