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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE H. BRADSHAW (08/28/81)

filed: August 28, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
GEORGE H. BRADSHAW



No. 2725 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. 80-05-1700/1706.

COUNSEL

Ellen Mattleman, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Edward Reif, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Wickersham, McEwen and Wieand, JJ.

Author: Wickersham

[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 163]

This is an appeal from an order granting appellee's motion to suppress evidence.*fn1 The sole issue presented is whether

[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 164]

    evidence obtained pursuant to a facially valid search warrant should be suppressed because the informant's tip, which was reasonably believed by the governmental affiant, was based on a deliberate misstatement.*fn2

The pertinent facts are as follows. On April 14, 1980, silver and jewelry worth over $30,000 were stolen from a house in Media, Pennsylvania. The next day, the Philadelphia police received a tip from a reliable informant stating that he was with appellee, George Bradshaw, in his home during the late evening of April 14, 1980 and that he saw silver and jewelry stolen from a home in Media. After verifying the occurrence of such a burglary in Media, the Philadelphia police obtained a warrant that same day to search Bradshaw's house. While conducting the search, the police found the silver and jewelry which was taken during the burglary in Media.

A suppression hearing was held on October 31, 1980. Bradshaw testified that on the night of the burglary he was in Atlantic City, New Jersey from approximately 7:15 p. m. until 4:00 a. m. Appellee's testimony was supported by three witnesses and various bills and receipts from Atlantic City establishments. The suppression court concluded that Bradshaw had spent the evening of the burglary in Atlantic City and, accordingly, found that the informant had falsely reported to the police affiant that he saw the stolen items in appellee's house and in appellee's presence. The court then suppressed the evidence because of the informant's misrepresentation even though it concluded that the search warrant was facially valid and that it had been obtained in good faith by the police on what appeared to be reliable information.

The fourth amendment prohibits "unreasonable searches" and provides that "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable

[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 165]

    cause, supported by Oath or affirmation . . . ." U.S. Const. amend. IV. To safeguard this guarantee, the exclusionary rule prohibits the admission of evidence seized in violation of the fourth amendment in both federal courts, Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 34 S.Ct. 341, 58 L.Ed. 652 (1914), and state courts, Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961). The question we must now decide is whether the criminal defendant's fourth ...


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