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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN E. GOLDSBOROUGH (02/20/81)

filed: February 20, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
JOHN E. GOLDSBOROUGH, JR., APPELLANT



No. 283 October Term, 1979, Appeal from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Criminal Division, No. 639 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Thomas G. Klingensmith, Assistant Public Defender, Lancaster, for appellant.

Ronald L. Buckwalter, District Attorney, Lancaster, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Watkins and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 437]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County by the defendant-appellant, John E. Goldsborough, Jr., after conviction by a jury of criminal trespass, a felony of the second degree. The defendant was sentenced to one (1) year probation and

[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 438]

    fined $300 and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution as a result of his conviction.

The testimony produced at trial revealed that a fire occurred at 542 Walnut Street in the Borough of Columbia on March 13, 1978 during the early morning hours. The fire damaged an outside shed located on the premises and also damaged the inside rear portion of the main building located at the above address. The rear portion of the main building consisted of an apartment occupied by a Miss Detweiler, an elderly woman. The owner of the premises, Francis M. Draude, resided in the front portion of the same building.

Although not a member of the local fire company which had been called to the scene to combat the conflagration, defendant was observed helping to battle the blaze. By 4:30 A.M. the fire was brought under control and the Fire Chief sent his men home. The chief was the last man to leave the scene. Before leaving he instructed Draude and Perry Grove, a next door neighbor, to keep everyone away from the building as he (the Chief) intended to call in the State Police Fire Marshall to investigate the cause of the fire. Although some valuables had been removed from the building other property, including furniture, remained in the apartment.

At 8:00 A.M. the defendant was observed in the yard of the premises. He was seen in the yard again at 9:30 A.M. using a long handled scraper in the area where the shed had been. Perry Grove, the neighbor, then informed the defendant that the fire chief did not want the area disturbed until the fire marshall had the opportunity to inspect the area. A few minutes later the defendant entered the Detweiler apartment and was observed inside of it. Draude testified that he did not know the defendant and had not given him permission to enter the building. The defendant claims that the evidence produced at trial was not sufficient to convict him.

A person who enters any building or occupied structure, knowing that he is not licensed ...


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