No. 71 March Term, 1979, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Pennsylvania, No. 880, 881 of 1978 Criminal Division
Jay S. Nedell, Erie, for appellant.
Michael J. Veshecco, Dist. Atty., Shad Connelly, Asst. Dist. Atty., Erie, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Roberts, J., concurred in the result.
On April 25, 1978, appellant Raynard Green entered the Erie County residence of eighty-seven year old Harriet Mikielski. After emptying the contents of the kitchen drawers on the floor, he realized that Mrs. Mikielski was in the next room and had observed his activities. In order to prevent Mrs. Mikielski from later identifying him for the police, appellant struck her in the face with what the Commonwealth theorizes was an isometric exercise machine. This single blow was inflicted with such force that it caused almost immediate death.
Appellant was tried by a jury and found guilty of murder of the first degree and burglary. Following the denial of post-verdict motions, appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment on the murder conviction and five to ten years imprisonment on the burglary conviction, the sentences to run consecutively. Appellant now appeals directly to this Court.
Appellant's first contention is that the trial court abused its discretion in consolidating for trial the information charging burglary with the information charging murder of the first degree. Appellant, however, does not advance
a single valid reason to support his allegation that the consolidation was prejudicial or improper,*fn1 and the Commonwealth correctly points out that the charges are interrelated and arose out of what was clearly one criminal episode. Under such circumstances, this Court will not disturb the trial court's ruling with respect to the consolidation of separate informations. Commonwealth v. Hill, 479 Pa. 346, 388 A.2d 689 (1978).
Appellant's next two contentions concern the introduction of four photographs into evidence. The first of these photographs was a recent snapshot of the victim sitting on a couch next to her daughter and grandchildren. The other three photographs were police photographs; one depicting a blood-stained curtain found near the victim's body, one depicting blood spots and stains on the wall above the victim's head, and the last photograph depicting the position of only the lower portion of the victim's body. Appellant asserts that these photographs lacked relevancy and were prejudicial and likely to inflame the passions of the jury. We disagree.
Appellant's version of the incident was that the victim came to the doorway between the kitchen and the living room and was observing ...