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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. REGINALD GLOVER (03/20/80)

decided: March 20, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
REGINALD GLOVER



Nos. 326, 351 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence imposed February 3, 1977, of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section, for the County of Philadelphia, at Nos. 16-20, February Term, 1976

COUNSEL

Lawrence S. Rosenwald, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Division, Suzanne McDonough, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Eagen, C. J., and Roberts, J., concurred in the result.

Author: Flaherty

[ 488 Pa. Page 462]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On January 5, 1976 Stephen Johnson and two companions were attacked by a gang of young men as they came out of a neighborhood store. Johnson died as a result of knife wounds received in the attack; his two companions were hospitalized with knife wounds. Reginald Glover, appellant, was arrested on January 6, 1976 and charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, two counts of aggravated assault and possessing an instrument of a crime. He was tried by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, sitting without a jury, and was convicted of Murder of the Third Degree and all of the other charges. Post-trial motions were denied and a sentence of two to fifteen years was imposed for the murder conviction, with concurrent sentences of two to ten years for the criminal conspiracy conviction and five years probation for the assault and weapons convictions. Glover filed appeals in both the Superior Court and in this Court. The Superior Court certified its appeal to us and this consolidated appeal followed. We affirm the judgments of sentence.

Appellant first argues that his statement to the police concerning his role in the incident should have been suppressed. In this regard, he claims that the statement was the product of an unlawful arrest; the statement was coerced; the statement was not knowingly given; and finally that the Commonwealth should be deemed to have admitted the well-pleaded facts of appellant's motion to suppress his statement because of its failure to answer the motion within seven (7) days, as required by former Pa.R.Crim.P. 308(a). Secondly, appellant argues that the identification testimony at trial should be ruled inadmissible and a new trial granted because it was tainted by a pre-trial identification made in violation of appellant's Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel.

The appellant was arrested pursuant to information given the police by two young men who were already in custody

[ 488 Pa. Page 463]

    and had been questioned about the Johnson killing. One of the young men, Sanford, told police that he participated in the attack and described the progress of the attackers as they moved from a pool room to the point of the attack: "As we were going to Nicetown we met other dudes as we walked towards Old York Road. We met Onion, Reggie, and a whole lot of other dudes. We walked down Old York Road to Wyoming. When we reached Old York Road and Wyoming everybody split into groups. We went into Nicetown turf." N.T. 3-16-76 at 15. Sanford was unable to give "Reggie's" last name and he did not give a description. The second young man, Ransom, said that Reginald Glover, appellant, was "involved" in the stabbing incident. Ransom positively identified a photograph of appellant, and police subsequently arrested Glover.

The question raised on these facts is whether the police had probable cause to arrest appellant. This Court has held that probable cause to arrest is established by information supplied by a confessed accomplice. Commonwealth v. Chumley, 482 Pa. 626, 643, 394 A.2d 497, 506 (1978). In Commonwealth v. Stokes we stated: "[I]n determining whether probable cause exists, we have tended to credit information supplied by one who has some direct personal knowledge of the crime." 480 Pa. 38, 44, 389 A.2d 74, 77 (1978). In this case, one informant, who implicated himself in the incident, also implicated "Reggie." The second informant, also involved in the incident, while being questioned about the crime, implicated "Reginald Glover", the appellant herein. Acting on this information, the police arrested Glover. Under these facts, there was probable cause for the arrest.

Appellant's argument that the statement given to police was coerced is based on testimony of appellant's mother that when she saw appellant after he had been interrogated by police for several hours, he appeared to have been beaten and there were marks on his face. She testified further that his clothes were dirty and that he told her he had been forced to give the statement. Further, appellant

[ 488 Pa. Page 464]

    offered evidence that he had complained to prison officials of physical ailments stemming from an ...


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