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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HARRY ISAACMAN (07/16/79)

submitted: July 16, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HARRY ISAACMAN, APPELLANT



No. 195 Special Transfer Docket, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Philadelphia County, at Information No. 203, May Term, 1977.

COUNSEL

William T. Cannon, Philadelphia, for appellant.

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

Montgomery, O'Brien, and Honeyman, JJ.*fn*

Author: Montgomery

[ 269 Pa. Super. Page 264]

On October 18, 1977, following a trial before a court en banc, convened in accordance with the Pa.R.Crim.P.: Rule 353(b), appellant was adjudged guilty, by unanimous decision, of voluntary manslaughter. Post verdict motions were filed and denied. Appellant was thereafter sentenced to five (5) years probation with special conditions.

The testimony credited by the court below established that on April 24, 1977, at approximately 6:00 p. m., the appellant, a 76 year old man, was standing outside of a garage where his car was located when he was approached by three young

[ 269 Pa. Super. Page 265]

    men from his neighborhood whom he knew to be Keith Adams, age 14, Samuel English, age 17, and the decedent, George Campbell, age 15. English demanded that the defendant give them some money. Mr. Isaacman complied. It was common community knowledge that the defendant operated a tow truck and assisted the police in recovering missing cars. English and the two other young men volunteered to take the defendant to a nearby stolen car which they had discovered. Before going with them, Isaacman entered his garage and placed an expensive radio under the car seat. Before they reached the purported location of the stolen car the defendant noticed the absence of the decedent. Isaacman returned to the garage, observed the decedent near his car and noticed the interior of the car in disarray. Isaacman accused the decedent of stealing the radio whereupon all three young men walked away. The defendant followed them out for a short distance and told them to stop. English and Adams did stop but the decedent continued on. The defendant drew his gun (which he was properly licensed to carry), shot and killed the decedent. The medical examiner testified that George Campbell sustained a gunshot wound of the right upper back which travelled upward at a 30 to 40 degrees angle, and entered the back of his head. In the opinion of this expert witness the cause of death was the gunshot would to the head.

On appeal, appellant raises the following issues: (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to convict him of the crimes charged in light of the evidence of self defense presented by him; and (2) the suppression court erred in admitting into evidence a statement given to police by appellant at the time of his arrest in that it was the product of an earlier illegally obtained statement.

Having fully examined the evidence presented by the Commonwealth at trial, we find appellant's first allegation involving the insufficiency of the evidence to be without merit. The test on appeal for determining the sufficiency of evidence is whether, in viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as verdict winner, together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, it was

[ 269 Pa. Super. Page 266]

    sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant is guilty of the crime for which he has been convicted. Commonwealth v. Firth, 479 Pa. 333, 388 A.2d 683 (1978); ...


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