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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GRADY BISHOP (08/06/79)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


submitted: August 6, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GRADY BISHOP, APPELLANT

Nos. 167 and 168 Special Transfer Docket, APPEAL FROM THE JUDGMENT OF SENTENCE OF COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, PHILADELPHIA COUNTY TRIAL DIVISION, CRIMINAL SECTION, IMPOSED ON INDICTMENT NOS. 607 and 609-611, MARCH TERM, 1977.

COUNSEL

Lewis S. Small, Philadelphia, for appellant.

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

Watkins, Manderino and Cirillo, JJ.*fn*

Author: Cirillo

[ 271 Pa. Super. Page 101]

The defendant was tried by a judge without a jury and convicted of second degree murder, robbery, burglary and conspiracy. The defendant filed post-verdict motions which were disposed of, and he has appealed. The defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to convict him of murder because he was merely present when the other man beat upon the decedent, and was therefore not an accomplice. We disagree that the evidence was insufficient and will affirm.

The evidence reveals that the defendant and another man broke down the door of an apartment, entered the apartment, and ransacked it. The other man beat upon the occupant of the apartment, who later died from the wounds inflicted. The defendant was armed. Another occupant of the apartment house entered while the parties were in the apartment, and the defendant directed the incoming dweller to go upstairs to his own apartment. Shortly thereafter, the defendant and his companion left the premises, and the defendant was seen carrying a television set. Earlier that evening, the defendant and his companion had visited a relative to whom they indicated an intent to commit a robbery at the premises in which these events took place.

Section 306 of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 306(c)(1)(ii), defines an accomplice as a person who "with the intent of promoting or facilitating the commission of an offense, he: aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it." It is perfectly clear from the above-recited evidence that this defendant was indeed an accomplice and therefore responsible as if he were the principal felon. It is clear that the defendant and his

[ 271 Pa. Super. Page 102]

    companion set out with the intention of committing a robbery, and did so, and the defendant was armed. In addition, the defendant reaped the rewards of the robbery in that he took the television set. This case is similar, as to accomplices, to the cases of Commonwealth v. Smith, 480 Pa. 524, 391 A.2d 1009 (1978), and Commonwealth v. Dussinger, 478 Pa. 182, 386 A.2d 500 (1978).


*fn* Justice Louis L. Manderino of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and Judge Vincent A. Cirillo of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, are sitting by designation.


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