No. 466 January Term, 1978, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division 7708-1313
Ronald Schulman, for appellant.
Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Ann Lebowitz, Philadelphia, for appellee.
O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.
Appellant, Alice Green, was convicted of first degree murder after a non-jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. Post verdict motions were filed and denied, and appellant was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. This direct appeal followed, and we now affirm the judgment of sentence.*fn1
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, as we must, Commonwealth v. Robinson, 468 Pa. 575, 364 A.2d 665 (1976); Commonwealth v. Agie, 449 Pa. 187, 296 A.2d 741 (1972), the facts are as follows: At approximately 5:00 p. m. on August 3, 1977, Officer Bruce Kopena proceeded to a residence at 642 N. Yewdall Street in Philadelphia in response to a police radio call. Upon his arrival, he found Horace Alexander ("the victim") lying on the living room floor in a blood soaked shirt. Officer Kopena returned momentarily to his patrol car to call for assistance. When he re-entered the house, appellant appeared from the kitchen holding a shopping bag in which she had packed a change of clothes. She saw the officer and stated spontaneously: "I'm ready to go to jail now. I hope he dies and I'm glad I stabbed him." (N.T. 40, Vol. I). Appellant was immediately placed under arrest, and while she was being escorted to the patrol car, she yelled that she "did it" and that she wanted the whole block to know. (N.T. 53, Vol. I). Inside the patrol car, she told another officer: "I'm glad I killed [him]. Is he dead? Is he dead? I'll teach him to mess with that bitch." (N.T. 49, Vol. I).
The victim was taken to Miseracordia Hospital where he died at 6:10 p. m. that evening as a result of multiple stab wounds of the head, neck and trunk. (N.T. 63, Vol. I).*fn2 Appellant also was hospitalized for treatment of wounds she
sustained when the handle of the murder weapon broke during the stabbing. While at the hospital, at approximately 6:30 p. m., appellant was approached by Detective Daniel Lynch, who informed her that the victim had died and that she was under arrest for murder. Appellant responded: "Well, if he's not [dead], tell me what room he's in and I'll finish the job." (N.T. 68-69, Vol. I). After Detective Lynch communicated the appropriate Miranda warnings to appellant, she confessed to stabbing the victim to death because she believed he was seeing another woman.
Appellant and the victim had been residing together at the Yewdall Street address for some time. She suspected that he had been "cheating" on her for almost a year, and testified that on the morning of the murder, she saw him "hugging" another woman. Although appellant saw the victim with the other woman that morning, she did not confront him then, but continued about her routine business for the remainder of the day. Detective Lynch testified, however, that appellant told him she emptied the contents of thirty Darvon capsules into the victim's food while preparing dinner because she wanted him to be asleep when she killed him. (N.T. 69, Vol. I).*fn3
During dinner, an argument erupted, and appellant confronted the victim with her suspicion that he was seeing another woman. When he denied her accusation, appellant flew into a rage, grabbed his toupee and stabbed him repeatedly with a paring knife. Appellant claims that she has no memory of the stabbing, but concedes that she must have done it because her hand was cut and because ...