Nos. 258 and 287, January Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence entered January 4, 1977, of the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, at October Sessions 1975, Nos. 718 and 719
Raymond J. Takiff, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Asst. Dist. Atty., Cynthia H. Severinsen, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Manderino, J., concurred in the result. Eagen, C. J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
Appellant was convicted by a jury of murder of the third degree and a weapons offense. A sentence of imprisonment of seven to fourteen (7-14) years was entered on the murder indictment and sentence was suspended for the weapons offense. This direct appeal followed.
On September 8, 1975, appellant entered a neighborhood bar in the City of Philadelphia, and during conversation with the bartender stated that he planned to shoot his paramour, Janet Elrod. The next day (September 9, 1975), appellant
returned to the bar and gave the bartender a gun in a paper bag. The weapon was later retrieved by the police.
During the early morning hours of September 9, 1975, Ms. Elrod and Marguerite Gibson King, who resided with Ms. Elrod, met appellant on the street as the two ladies were returning to their home. Ms. Elrod and appellant had been feuding as a result of Ms. Elrod's earlier request that appellant move out of the home where he had resided with her. As appellant approached them on the street, he stated to Ms. King "bitch, you are going to die." The three persons entered the house, whereupon the appellant continued swearing at Ms. King stating that it was her fault that he had been requested to leave the residence. Appellant then struck Ms. Elrod in the head with the gun handle and punched Ms. King causing her to fall. As Ms. King attempted to rise, appellant shot her and then kicked her in the face. Thereafter, appellant threatened to kill Ms. Elrod because she had witnessed the event, but, instead forced her to assist him in removing the body of Ms. King to a nearby alley. The gunshot wound caused the death of Ms. King.
The first assignment of error addresses the denial of appellant's motion to suppress his inculpatory statements given to police officials. His attack upon this ruling is two-pronged. First, he argues that the Commonwealth had violated Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 308 in responding to his motion to suppress, and as a consequence, the relief requested in the motion should have been granted. At the time of this pre-trial proceeding, rule 308 required that an answer be filed to pre-trial applications not later than seven (7) days from the service of the application, unless "good cause" was shown for not filing the required answer. Failure to comply with the ...