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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE S. SMITH (05/31/79)

decided: May 31, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GEORGE S. SMITH, APPELLANT



No. 111 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, Imposed on Bill of Indictment No. 2054, December Term, 1975.

COUNSEL

Walter J. Collins, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Asst. Dist. Atty., Paul S. Diamond, Asst. Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.

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

Author: Larsen

[ 485 Pa. Page 245]

OPINION OF THE COURT

After trial without a jury, appellant was found guilty of murder of the third degree; the prosecution arising out of the beating death of Clarence Tilghman in November of 1975. Post-trial motions were denied and, on September 30, 1976, appellant was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five to fifteen years. In this direct appeal, appellant contends that:

1. The facts adduced at trial did not support his conviction for murder of the third degree because;

     a) the Commonwealth failed to prove that someone else did not beat the deceased after appellant, and

     b) the argument which preceded the beating showed that if appellant was guilty at all, his culpability did not rise above voluntary manslaughter.

2. The courts below erred in not suppressing the written confession appellant gave to the police three hours after his arrest because;

     a) the arrest was made without probable cause and the confession was a ...


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