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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. KEVIN DAVIS (09/22/80)

decided: September 22, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
KEVIN DAVIS, A/K/A KEVIN CARGO, APPELLANT



Nos. 293 and 353 JANUARY TERM, 1978, Appeal from the Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, entered June 11, 1978, at Nos. 638 and 640 October Term, 1977

COUNSEL

James J. DeMarco, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Division, Sarah B. Vandenbraak, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.

Author: Kauffman

[ 491 Pa. Page 366]

OPINION

Kevin Davis, also known as Kevin Cargo, appeals from the judgments of sentence entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County following his conviction for murder of the first degree and possession of an instrument of crime. The relevant facts are as follows:

On June 7, 1975, the victim, Frank Johnson ("Johnson"), attended a party given by friends at 2412 Hulseman Terrace in Philadelphia. During the evening, an argument broke out between members of rival gangs, and two unidentified individuals forcibly removed Johnson from the premises. While he was standing in front of the house surrounded by a crowd of people, appellant approached Johnson and fatally wounded him with two shots from a .22 caliber derringer pistol.

Following his arrest on September 9, 1977, for murder and other crimes unrelated to this appeal, appellant confessed in writing to shooting Johnson. On December 16, 1977, appellant's pre-trial motion to suppress the signed confession on the ground that it was involuntary was denied, and on February 28, 1978, he was convicted of first degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime by the court sitting without a jury. On May 4, 1978, the trial court granted appellant's petition to file post-verdict motions nunc pro tunc, and on June 13, 1978, Appellant's motions were denied and he was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment on the conviction for first-degree murder and to a consecutive term of two and one-half to five years imprisonment for possession of an instrument of crime. Appeal was taken

[ 491 Pa. Page 367]

    directly to this Court from the judgment of sentence imposed for the murder conviction and to the Superior Court from the judgment of sentence imposed for the weapons violation.*fn1 The latter appeal has been certified to this Court. We affirm.

I

Appellant first argues that his arrest warrant was invalid because the information upon which it was issued was insufficient, unreliable and unworthy of trust. We disagree. The arrest warrant was issued on the basis of information received from three eyewitnesses. Two specifically identified appellant as the individual who shot Johnson and the third identified him as one of the four individuals she observed fleeing from the scene immediately after the shooting. We repeatedly have confirmed the reliability and trustworthiness of eyewitnesses testimony. See Commonwealth v. Musi, 486 Pa. 102, 113, 404 A.2d 378, 383 (1979), (eyewitness to shooting reliable); Commonwealth v. Irving, 485 Pa. 596, 601, 403 A.2d 549, 551 (1979), ("there is a basis for crediting the information of an eyewitness"); Commonwealth v. Stokes, 480 Pa. 38, 44, 389 A.2d 74, 77 (1978) ("information provided by an eyewitness whose identity is known has . . . been deemed sufficient"). See also ...


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