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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HENRY WALLS (12/22/78)

decided: December 22, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HENRY WALLS, APPELLANT



No. 1014 October Term 1977, Appellant from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Phila. County, Trial Div., Criminal Section, imposed on Information Nos., 1668-1671, January Sess., 1976.

COUNSEL

Walter M. Phillips, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jacobs, President Judge, and Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, Spaeth and Hester, JJ. Price, J., concurs in the result. Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Spaeth

[ 261 Pa. Super. Page 323]

Appellant was tried by a judge sitting without a jury and found guilty of two counts of robbery, two counts of possession of an instrument of crime, and criminal conspiracy.*fn1 Post verdict motions for arrest of judgment or new trial were denied. This appeal followed.

At about 10:00 a. m. on December 20, 1975, appellant and the co-defendant, one Arthur Dill, entered the Tech-Hifi store at 84th and Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia. oth men were armed. Announcing a hold-up, they ordered two store employees and a customer to lie on the floor and bound and gagged them. They took a watch from one of the employees and a key ring containing personal and store keys from the other employee; they also took about $1,775 in cash from a desk in the store office. During this time another customer entered the store and he too was forced to lie on the floor and was bound and gagged. Appellant and Dill then began to remove stereo equipment from the display and stock rooms to an orange and white U-Haul truck, which had Maryland license plates and was parked in front of the store. When they had finished loading the truck, they locked the door of the store, using one of the keys on the key ring they had taken. One of the captives freed himself in time to see the two men drive away in the truck. The police were called.

Acting on radio information, Officers Joseph Joyce and Francis Garvin stopped an orange and white U-Haul truck

[ 261 Pa. Super. Page 324]

    near the scene of the crime. Appellant and Dill were required to get out of the truck and were searched. A gun, the watch, and money totaling $1,776 were found. A search of the front of the truck uncovered another gun and the set of keys. The back of the truck was full of stereo equipment. Appellant and Dill were taken back to the Tech-Hifi store where they were positively identified. During this time appellant made an inculpatory statement.

A motion to suppress the identifications and appellant's statement was filed. The hearing judge refused to suppress the identifications, but when no testimony was presented concerning the statement, and after the prosecutor indicated that the Commonwealth did not intend to use the statement, the judge ordered the statement suppressed.

During trial appellant testified in his own behalf, as follows. He and Dill had come to the area earlier that morning to visit his uncle. Being unfamiliar with the area, they were unable to find his uncle's house and decided to return home by bus. When the police apprehended them, they were standing on the corner waiting for the bus. He knew nothing about the ...


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