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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LEROY SMITH (02/01/80)

decided: February 1, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
LEROY SMITH, APPELLANT



Nos. 337 345 January Term, 1977 Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section of Philadelphia County at Nos. 1493, 94, 1496/1502 January Term, 1976

COUNSEL

Timothy J. Savage, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div.; Virginia Kerr, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the decision in this case. Roberts and Nix, JJ., concurred in the result.

Author: Flaherty

[ 487 Pa. Page 627]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Leroy Smith, was convicted in a jury trial of murder in the first degree and three counts of robbery. Post-verdict motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder conviction with three ten-to-twenty prison terms for the robbery convictions. This appeal followed.

On December 16, 1975, four men armed with guns entered a West Philadelphia bar, announced a holdup and began taking the patron's wallets and money, when off-duty Philadelphia policeman, William Daniels, a patron in the bar in

[ 487 Pa. Page 628]

    civilian clothes, ran for the door. Officer Daniels was shot and the robbers rushed out of the bar. The last robber to exit fired another shot into Officer Daniels and a wild shot which struck a woman patron in the foot. Officer Daniels died as a result of the gun shot wounds.

One of the robbers left a briefcase in the bar, containing a piece of paper with a name and telephone number, which was traced to an apartment less than two blocks from the site of the holdup and murder. The owner of the apartment building identified the name on the piece of paper as her granddaughter who was living in the second floor apartment. The owner admitted the police officers and a search for the robbers ensued. The police apprehended appellant and his three companions after finding them huddled in an attic crawl space with their shirts, shoes, and socks removed. Later the police obtained a search warrant, searched the premises, and found four guns and the decedent's wallet and badge.

The appellant was immediately taken to the Police Administration Building. He arrived at 11:15 p. m. on December 16, 1975 at which time he was left alone for 45 minutes. Appellant was given his Miranda rights by the interrogating officer, waived them, and was interrogated at midnight. At that time appellant admitted he had gone to the bar that evening but denied going inside. Forty-Five minutes later, 12:45 a. m., December 17, 1975, appellant agreed to take a polygraph examination, signed a polygraph waiver, once again waived his Miranda rights, and took the examination. The polygraph examination was started at 1:00 a. m. and completed at 2:00 a. m. At 2:10 a. m. the interrogating officer once more gave appellant his Miranda warnings. The appellant waived those rights and gave a statement of the incident, in which he admitted his participation in the robbery and denied that he shot Officer ...


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