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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JEFFREY JOSEPH DAUGHERTY (03/13/81)

decided: March 13, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JEFFREY JOSEPH DAUGHERTY, APPELLANT



No. 80-1-28, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, of Blair County, at C.A. No. 892 and 1011 of 1976.

COUNSEL

Norman D. Callan, Asst. Public Defender, John Woodcock, Jr., Public Defender, Hollidaysburg, for appellant.

Thomas G. Peoples, Jr., Dist. Atty., Hollidaysburg, James V. McGough, Altoona, for appellee.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Nix, J., concurs in the result.

Author: O'brien

[ 493 Pa. Page 275]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from an Order imposing judgment of sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County. On January 31, 1977, appellant was convicted by a jury of murder of the first degree, criminal conspiracy (murder), and other lesser offenses. The jury sentenced appellant to death. Post-verdict motions were filed, argued and denied. On January 4, 1980, our decision in Commonwealth v. Moody, 476 Pa. 223, 382 A.2d 442 (1977) having intervened, appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment. The relevant facts are as follows.

On March 11, 1976, during the course of an armed robbery at the Shaw Oil Company, a gasoline station located in Allegheny Township, Blair County, Pennsylvania, at or near the Borough of [ILLEGIBLE WORD], George Karnes, an eighteen-year-old attendant, was shot five times in the head and killed instantly. At the same time the cash receipts of the station were taken. There were no witnesses to this incident.

The following day, March 12, 1976, appellant, Jeffrey Joseph Daugherty, together with an accomplice and subsequent co-defendant, Bonnie Jean Heath, was apprehended in the Commonwealth of Virginia shortly after an armed robbery in that state. At the time of arrest appellant and his co-defendant were traveling in an automobile which was subsequently identified as having been used in Blair County, and which contained the handgun which was used in the Karnes murder as well as other tangible objects connected with various Blair County crimes.

On December 8, 1976, appellant was convicted by a jury in the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County of murder of the first degree. This conviction was for appellant's participation in an unrelated matter: the robbery-murder of Mrs. Elizabeth Shank.

On December 10, 1976, appellant filed a petition for change of venue in the instant matter. A hearing thereon

[ 493 Pa. Page 276]

    was held January 7, 1977, and the petition was denied by the trial court on January 10, 1977. Trial on the ...


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