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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MICHAEL BARNES (12/21/79)

filed: December 21, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MICHAEL BARNES, APPELLANT



Nos. 102 & 103 Special Session Docket, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, August Term, 1974, No. 221, 222

COUNSEL

Lawrence J. Roberts, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Lee Kaplan, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, Manderino and Cirillo, JJ.*fn* Manderino, J., concurs in the result. This decision was reached prior to the death of Manderino, J.

Author: Watkins

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 297]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, by the defendant-appellant, Michael Barnes, after a trial by jury and conviction of second degree murder and conspiracy.

On July 2, 1974, at about 5:05 A.M., the body of Lorenzo Burnside was discovered by a police officer lying face up on the north sidewalk of Cuthbert Street next to the Forty-Five Hotel in Philadelphia in a direct line path of fall from a lighted open fourth floor bathroom window of the hotel. Post-mortem examination indicated multiple injuries including strangulation, puncture wounds of the back, tears to the heart, lung, spleen and liver, abrasions to the left eye, nose, lips and others. Also there were indications that the victim had been sexually assaulted by deviate means.

Appellant contends the evidence is not sufficient to sustain a conviction of second degree murder.

This offense was defined at the time of defendant's trial by 18 C.P.S.A. § 2502(b) as follows:

"A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when the death of the victim occurred while defendant was engaged as a principal or accomplice in the perpetration of a felony."

1972, December 6, P.L. 1482, No. 334, § 1, amended 1974, March 26, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 4.

Defendant's argument on sufficiency is three-pronged: (1) that there was insufficient evidence to establish the perpetration of the ...


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