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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GERALD EVERETT (05/07/82)

filed: May 7, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GERALD EVERETT, APPELLANT



No. 485 PHILADELPHIA, 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Div., Criminal Sec. of Philadelphia County, Nos. 40, 41, 43 August Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

Daniel H. Greene, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Maureen A. Brennan, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Hester, Cavanaugh and Disalle, JJ. DiSalle, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Hester

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 184]

On July 18, 1979, the appellant Gerald Everett, was charged with murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, robbery and criminal conspiracy for his participation in the hold-up of a candy store at 16th and Bainbridge Streets in Philadelphia and the shooting death of the store's owner, John Jennings. The Commonwealth later moved for a nolle prosequi of the involuntary manslaughter charge. The appellant was found guilty of all remaining charges except voluntary manslaughter. A post-trial motion for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were denied January 28, 1981; and, on February 25, 1981, the appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Graterford State Correctional Institute for the murder in the first degree conviction and concurrent sentences of 10 to 20 years for the robbery conviction and 5 to 10 years for the criminal conspiracy conviction. This appeal from the judgment of sentence was filed on February 26, 1981.

Viewed in a light most favorable to the verdict winner, the facts and circumstances unfolded as follows:

On July 17, 1979, at 1:30 p. m., the appellant drove Raymond Gray (nicknamed "Sutan") and Robert Burgess (nicknamed "Woody") to the corner of 16th Street and Kater, parked his vehicle facing in a westerly direction on Kater Street and allowed his two passengers to leave the vehicle. Gray and Burgess then entered a small candy store on 16th and Bainbridge.

The storekeeper, Bernard Ferguson, was selling candy to one of the men when the darker-skinned of the two pushed Ferguson's head to the counter-top and held a gun to his head. The light-skinned assailant then approached the store owner, John Jennings, and aimed a gun at him as well. Jennings grabbed the gun and a struggle ensued between him and the light-skinned assailant. The darker-skinned man ran to the aid of his accomplice and shot twice at

[ 299 Pa. Super. Page 185]

Jennings, with the second shot delivering a fatal wound to the chest.

The two men, Gray and Burgess, were then seen running north on 16th Street and turning left (west) on Kater Street. At about that same time, or very shortly thereafter, another eyewitness saw the appellant's car moving in a westerly direction on Kater Street between 16th and 17th with two men in it and a third man jumping in as the vehicle slowed at the corner of 17th and Kater. After stopping at Gray's house on Fitzwater Street, the appellant drove both men to Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania. Later that day, after the appellant was interrogated by the Philadelphia police, he was charged with murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

In consequence of our review of the court record, written briefs and oral arguments, we affirm the judgment of sentence. We hereby adopt the well-reasoned opinion of the court below; however, we supplement it by ...


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