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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN C. CROMMIE. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/14/78)

decided: December 14, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
JOHN C. CROMMIE. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT, V. THOMAS LARRIMORE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, Chester County, dated December 6, 1977 suppressing the testimony of Barry Sunderland. Nos. 59877, 120577, 120677, 120877, 120977, 121077, 121177, 121277, 121377, 121477, 121577, 121677, 121777, 121877, 122777, 120777 for Jon C. Crommie. Nos. 60177, 110677, 110777, 121977, for Thomas Larrimore.

COUNSEL

Frank J. Williams, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Thomas R. Wilson, West Chester, for appellee, Crommie, at No. 511.

Thomas G. Gavin, West Chester, for appellee, Larrimore, at No. 512.

Van der Voort, Watkins and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Montgomery

[ 261 Pa. Super. Page 212]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from an order suppressing the statements and live testimony of the Commonwealth's only eyewitness, Barry Sunderland, in the prosecution against his co-defendants Jon Crommie and

[ 261 Pa. Super. Page 213]

Thomas Larrimore. Without the statements and testimony of this eyewitness, the Commonwealth's case would be terminated. The order is, therefore, final and jurisdiction lies with this court.*fn1 Commonwealth v. Kunkel, 254 Pa. Super. 5, 385 A.2d 496 (1978).

Briefly stated, the relevant facts are as follows:

On March 9, 1977, a burglary occurred, hereafter referred to as the Bartlett burglary, in the jurisdiction of Officer William Miles in Willistown Township. On March 10, Miles, having reason to believe that defendant Crommie was involved in the burglary, contacted Sunderland knowing that Crommie had been at his apartment on March 9. No information was gained by Miles from this initial contact.

On April 4, 1977, defendant Crommie, owner and driver of a car, was arrested along with his passengers, defendant Larrimore and Sunderland, by the East Whiteland Township police and charged with a number of crimes including burglary, receiving stolen goods, conspiracy and theft. Sunderland made two statements while in custody, however, neither implicated Crommie nor Larrimore. This arrest was later conceded to be illegal, and the physical evidence seized during the search of the car was suppressed. Mr. Sunderland testified at the suppression hearing of the case at bar that his attorney had advised him that this arrest was illegal, and that the charges would probably be dropped.

Sunderland was incarcerated in Chester County Prison until April 29, 1977. While in prison, he was visited by Officer Miles, and Officer Rosado of the East Whiteland police. No statements ...


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