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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. BRETT TAYLOR (01/08/82)

filed: January 8, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
BRETT TAYLOR, APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA V. CARL V. KING, APPELLANT



No. 223 PITTSBURGH, 1980, No. 224 PITTSBURGH, 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, at 7901168A for No. 223 and CC7901167A for No. 224.

COUNSEL

John H. Corbett, Jr., and David G. Metinko, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

Dara A. DeCourey, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Hester, Brosky and Van der Voort, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 172]

The appellants, Carl King and Brett Taylor, were both convicted following a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, criminal attempt, aggravated assault, burglary, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy.

The relevant facts concern a gruesome account of what happened to Karen Gallagher on the evening on January 13, 1979. For the purposes of this Opinion, a brief summary of this event will suffice. Miss Gallagher met two black males, for the first time, at a party given by her next door neighbor

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 173]

    at 61 Lawn Street in the City of Pittsburgh on the evening of January 13, 1979. She carried on a conversation with both of these men in a well-lighted room for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Following this conversation, Miss Gallagher returned to her apartment at 63 Lawn Street, accompanied by the same two men, in order to search for some marijuana, which she intended to contribute to the party. Due to the fact that she could not find anything, she decided not to return to the party and requested that the two men leave. After the two men left, Miss Gallagher retired to bed. Sometime later that night, she was awakened by a loud noise. When she went into her living room to investigate, she found the same two men standing in the living room. The lights were on in the living room at the time. Following her repeated demands that the two men leave, the two men suddenly grabbed her, and started beating her head against a door jam and articles of furniture. The two men committed multiple acts of rape and deviate sexual intercourse upon her while continuing to beat her severely. The two men finally threw a table top on her and slit her throat with a knife.

Appellants do not contest the sufficiency of the evidence presented, nor do they question that these grotesquely brutal acts were committed upon the victim.

Both appellants raise four issues on appeal, all of which involve the competency of Karen Gallagher to testify at trial, due to the fact that she was hypnotized by a police hypnotic investigative expert on February 8, 1979. Appellants contend that, due to the fact that the victim was hypnotized, her testimony was unreliable because of the potential for fantasy and confabulation which the hypnosis produced.

We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of sentence with respect to both appellants.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has recently decided the appeal of the three co-defendants allegedly involved in the Heidi Morningstar murder. Commonwealth v. Nazarovitch et al., 496 Pa. 97, 436 A.2d 170 (1981). Speaking for a ...


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