Nos. 161 & 162 Special Transfer Docket, Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, Nos. 1330, 1332 February Term, 1977.
Joseph N. Bongiovanni, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.
Lynn Bennett, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, Manderino and Cirillo, JJ.*fn* This decision was reached prior to the death of Manderino, J.
[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 85]
This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Section, by the defendant-appellant, Howard Jeter, after conviction by a jury of murder in the third degree, and possession of an instrument of crime. Post-trial motions were denied. He was sentenced to three and one-half to ten (3 1/2 to 10) years imprisonment on the murder charge, sentence was suspended on the weapons bill.
The facts are as follows: On the evening of February 2, 1977, the defendant and several friends were in a bar. The decedent, Richard Howell, and his group of friends entered the bar acting boisterously and using profanity. The defendant and Howell became involved in a verbal argument concerning the use of profanity. Several witnesses stated that the argument did not reach the stage of physical violence and that the argument died down after a few minutes and the Howell group moved to another section of the bar.
The defendant and his friends left the bar, but in ten or fifteen minutes the defendant returned to the bar but no
[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 86]
words were exchanged between the defendant and Howell at that time.
Howell and his friends left the bar and the defendant left right behind Howell. Within minutes, several shots were heard. A witness testified that when he came outside he saw Howell lying on the sidewalk and heard Howell state that he had been shot and his assailant went around the corner. The witness testified that he went to the corner and saw the defendant running down the street, carrying a gun.
Police officers responded to the gun fire. One of the officers met the witness Butler who told him the shooter was running down the street. The officer observed a male running down the street and gave chase. He saw the male enter a house and he entered in pursuit. He found William Jeter, the defendant, in a second floor apartment. Subsequently, as a result of a search warrant, a .38 caliber pistol along with four spent .38 cartridges and one live bullet were found in the defendant's bedroom.
There was ballistics evidence that the spent cartridges matched up with the gun recovered from the defendant's bedroom and the .38 caliber ...