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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ERIC WILLIAMS A/K/A DAVID MURPHY (12/30/82)

filed: December 30, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
ERIC WILLIAMS A/K/A DAVID MURPHY



No. 1759 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section, of Philadelphia County at No. 80-04-2369-72.

COUNSEL

Kenneth S. Gallant, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Paul Messing, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Wieand, McEwen and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 65]

This is an appeal filed by the prosecution from an order of the court below which granted appellee's motion to suppress.*fn1 We reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

The facts as found by the trial court reveal the following:

On January 24, 1980, James Dugan was robbed of a bank bag. On February 6, 1980, Detectives Walsh and Russell arrested the appellee, Eric Williams, in connection with the robbery. Detectives Walsh and Russell were informed prior to appellee's arrest that a warrant had been issued. This information proved later to be erroneous. Detective Walsh had also been informed by Detective Kuhlmeier that an identification of appellee as one of the actors in the crime had been made. Detective Walsh testified finally that he had received information on the street that appellee had been involved in the robbery. Detective Walsh, however, never testified to the source of the information, nor did he state a basis for his belief in the reliability of the information.

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 66]

Detective Walsh took the appellee into custody based on the above information.

At approximately 7:00 p.m., the appellee, at the time of the arrest, was a juvenile and was interviewed by Detective Robert Kuhlmeier. At this time, Detective Kuhlmeier informed appellee of the reasons for his arrest and the circumstances of the crime. Appellee was asked whether his parents were at home. After appellee was informed that his father was home, Detective Kuhlmeier proceeded to appellee's home, and approximately one half hour later, the detective returned to the police station with Mr. Ollie Williams, appellee's father.

Prior to the time either appellee or his father was informed of appellee's Miranda rights, the detective permitted the appellee and his father a few minutes in which to consult. The detective thereafter advised the appellee and his father of appellee's rights. Shortly after advising appellee of his rights, a statement was obtained which was signed by appellee and his father. The trial court granted appellee's motion to suppress the statement, physical evidence and identification, and this appeal followed.*fn2

In his motion to suppress, appellee asserted various grounds in support of his contention that the evidence was obtained in violation of his constitutional rights: (1) the arrest was illegal because it was not supported by probable cause; (2) the appellee's statement was the product of physical or psychological coercion; (3) appellee's questioning was not preceded by adequate warnings; and (4) appellee was subjected to unnecessarily suggestive identification procedures at the preliminary hearing and at the photographic identification. The suppression court conducted a hearing and concluded that "due to the fact that the juvenile ...


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