No. 1134 Philadelphia, 1980, No. 1135 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Lehigh County, Criminal, No. 46-J of 1980 and No. 45-J of 1980
Michael E. Moyer, Assistant District Attorney, Allentown, for Commonwealth, appellant.
Paul A. McGinley, Allentown, for appellees.
Price, Montemuro and Van der Voort, JJ. Van der Voort, J., notes his dissent.
[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 323]
This is a consolidated appeal by the Commonwealth from an order by the court below granting the appellees' motions to suppress certain inculpatory statements. On appeal, the Commonwealth makes several contentions of error by the court below in the granting of these motions. For the reasons discussed below, we do not agree and, accordingly, we affirm.
The essential facts of the case are as follows:
[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 324]
On November 4, 1979, Trooper Ralph Fiorenza of the Pennsylvania State Police was called to investigate an incident at 4315 Clearview Drive, Allentown, Pennsylvania. While there, the Trooper determined that an explosive had been placed in a mailbox at that address causing damage to the mailbox. The owner, Frederick Magruder, had chased the actor or actors and had suffered some ailment. (Mr. Magruder subsequently died as a result of a heart attack suffered during his chase.)
While conducting his investigation, Trooper Fiorenza talked to a Mark Verzino. Verzino told Trooper Fiorenza that he knew two boys, one named "Bushy," who had been talking about buying firecrackers at the bus stop earlier in the week. Verzino pointed out the two boys' respective houses, those being the residences of the two juveniles who are the appellees in the instant appeal.
Trooper Fiorenza went first to the Bush residence. The Trooper knocked on the door, was met by the elder Mr. Bush (father of the appellee herein), identified himself and was admitted into the house by Mr. Bush. The Trooper told Mr. Bush that a mailbox had been exploded; that the owner had chased the actor or actors; and that the owner had been stricken in some way as a result. The Trooper asked to talk to Curtis, which he did after the boy was summoned by his parents.
Curtis, his father, his mother, and Trooper Fiorenza were seated in the Bush living room. The Trooper told Curtis what had happened and asked Curtis if he knew anything about the incident. Curtis denied any knowledge.
Without giving any warnings concerning Miranda*fn1 rights to either Curtis or his parents, the Trooper proceeded to question the boy and elicit (admittedly with the help of the boy's father) an inculpatory statement and a ...