Nos. 174 and 177 January Term, 1978, Appeal from the judgments of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, entered on April 12, 1978, at Number 1804, May Term, 1974 (Murder and Contempt of Court)
Gerald A. Stein, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Asst. Dist. Atty., Victor Fortuno, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Eagen, C. J., and Roberts, J., concur in the result.
Appellant was convicted by a jury of murder of the first degree for the shooting death of Valerio Montezuma which occurred on May 3, 1974. Post trial motions were denied and a sentence of life imprisonment was imposed. This appeal followed.*fn1
Appellant has advanced six assignments of error. We have determined that none of the errors alleged requires the granting of a new trial and we affirm the judgment of sentence.
The Commonwealth's evidence established that on May 3, 1974, three young men entered Valerio Montezuma's grocery store, demanded money and ordered Mrs. Montezuma to come out from the rear of the store. When Mrs. Montezuma saw the men, she stepped in front of her husband, but he pushed her away, and thereafter one of the three men shot Mr. Montezuma twice, killing him. The post-mortem examination disclosed that the cause of death was gunshot wounds, one to the face and one to the chest.
Meanwhile, plainclothes police officers were patrolling the area and heard the shots. They saw two men run from the store and down the street. One of the officers left the car and pursued the men down the street. During the chase, one of the men turned and fired twice at the police officer. The police officer, in turn, fired five times at the fleeing
gunman. The officer was unsure of whether he hit the gunman, but positively identified the appellant at trial as the gunman.
Although the gunman escaped, a homicide detective with the Philadelphia Police Department testified that he received anonymous information that the appellant had fled to Indianapolis, where he was staying with his brother. The detective requested Indianapolis police to arrest the appellant at his brother's address. On May 7, 1974 Indianapolis police arrested appellant at the home of his brother. When arrested, he had a bandaged left wrist. The Indianapolis police advised appellant of his Miranda rights, but did not take a statement or question him.
Philadelphia homicide detectives then flew to Indianapolis and took appellant into custody. They testified that appellant was not threatened, coerced or abused while in their custody, and upon arriving at police headquarters in Philadelphia, the appellant was again given his Miranda warnings, after which he voluntarily, intelligently and knowingly waived his rights and made a statement.
Appellant's inculpatory statement indicated that he and three other men planned to rob the Montezumas' store. Appellant entered the store armed with a handgun in the company of the other two men, demanded money from Mr. Montezuma, then shot Mr. Montezuma when Mr. Montezuma came toward him. Appellant and the others then ran from the store and, when he saw that he was being chased, fired at the person chasing him. As he ran, appellant was ...