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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CHARLES FISHER (05/01/79)

decided: May 1, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
CHARLES FISHER, APPELLANT



No. 474 January Term 1977, Appeal from the order of the Superior Court at No. 671 October Term 1976 affirming the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Criminal Division at No. 1219 of 1974.

COUNSEL

David R. Eshelman, Asst. Public Defender, Reading, for appellant.

Charles M. Guthrie, Jr., Asst. Dist. Atty., Reading, for appellee.

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

Author: Eagen

[ 485 Pa. Page 10]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Charles Fisher (Fisher), was convicted by a jury in Berks County for possession of a prohibited offensive

[ 485 Pa. Page 11]

    weapon.*fn1 Post trial motions were denied, and the court imposed a prison sentence of one to three years to run consecutively with sentences he had received for other unrelated offenses. Fisher then, with new counsel, appealed to the Superior Court which affirmed the judgment of sentence.*fn2 We granted Fisher's petition for allowance of appeal.

The trial record establishes the following:

Two police officers patrolling downtown Reading in separate vehicles observed Fisher and two companions walking down the street at about 3:30 a. m. Officer Paul Brown approached the three men and asked for their identification. When the three replied they had none, the officer asked their names and addresses. During this questioning, Fisher walked to the far side of Officer Brown's vehicle and bent down. The second police officer, Sergeant Arndt, who arrived during the questioning of the men, observed Fisher take an object from his pocket and bend over next to Officer Brown's car, and he heard a click as Fisher appeared to throw some object under the car. The men were put into a police wagon to be taken to police headquarters for further identification. The object Sergeant Arndt retrieved from beneath his vehicle consisted of a metal handle, with two finger holes, which incorporates two cutting blades, one facing outward,*fn3 the other inward.

Fisher maintains the object which he allegedly possessed, a "Wyoming Knife," is not a prohibited offensive weapon according to the terms of ...


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