Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Philadelphia County, at No. 77-11-1681/1684. Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Philadelphia County, at No. 77-11-1685/1688.
Victor M. Fortuno, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellant.
Neil F. Jodelson, Philadelphia, for Combs, appellee.
John W. Packel, Chief Appeals, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for Jenkins, appellee.
Cercone, President Judge, Wickersham and Van der Voort, JJ.
[ 298 Pa. Super. Page 528]
Appellant, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,*fn1 takes this appeal from the order of the trial court granting defendant-appellees', Carl Angelo Combs and Stanley Jenkins, motions
[ 298 Pa. Super. Page 529]
in arrest of judgment. For the reasons set forth below, we find that the lower court erred in arresting judgment and we hereby reverse that order and remand for sentencing.
On February 17, 1978, the lower court judge, sitting without a jury, convicted both defendant-appellees on charges of simple assault, criminal conspiracy, unlawful restraint, and rape. Following the trial, as indicated, appellees filed motions in arrest of judgment which were granted by the court. In granting these post-verdict motions, the court said, "In the within matter, the Court found totally incredible the testimony of Debbie Carter, the only prosecution witness, and therefore, the Commonwealth's evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to establish the necessary elements of each of the crimes charged."
The scope of review of the appellate courts when reviewing the issue of sufficiency of the evidence is to examine all of the evidence and all the reasonable inferences arising therefrom in the light most favorable to the verdict winner; the effect of a motion in arrest of judgment is to admit all the facts which the prosecution's evidence tends to prove. Commonwealth v. Davis, 477 Pa. 197, 383 A.2d 891 (1978); Commonwealth v. Meadows, 471 Pa. 201, 369 A.2d 1266 (1977); Commonwealth v. Winebrenner, 439 Pa. 73, 265 A.2d 108 (1970). As the Supreme Court has said:
"In order for a trial court to properly grant a criminal defendant's motion in arrest of judgment on the ground of insufficient evidence, 'it must be determined that accepting all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, upon which it believed [the verdict could properly have been based], it would be nonetheless insufficient in law to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the [defendant] is guilty of the crime charged.'"
Commonwealth v. Meadows, 471 Pa. at 205-206, 369 A.2d at 1268, quoting from Commonwealth v. Blevins, 453 Pa. 481, ...