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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ALBERT LEE MILLS (04/15/83)

filed: April 15, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
ALBERT LEE MILLS



PHILADELPHIA OFFICE NO. 2094 PHILADELPHIA 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Skuylkill County, at No. 108 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Richard B. Russell, District Attorney, Pottsville, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Joseph P. Semasek, Assistant Public Defender, Pottsville, for appellee.

Montemuro, Hoffman and Van der Voort, JJ.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 312 Pa. Super. Page 387]

This is the Commonwealth's appeal from an order granting appellee's motion to suppress a statement given by him.

The police had received a report of a possible child beating occurring at a residence shared by appellee and two women and the women's children. When the police arrived

[ 312 Pa. Super. Page 388]

    at the premises, appellee answered the door and invited them in. When inside, one officer observed, what appeared to be marijuana cigarettes, in open view laying on a table. Appellant grabbed the cigarettes and ran towards a set of stairs and was apprehended by the police officers.

Appellee was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and was transported to the police station. At this time there was no local district justice on duty. The police decided to postpone arraignment until the following morning.*fn1 The following morning appellee asked to speak to the officer in charge. Appellee volunteered that he struck the child because the child was taking a seizure. The officer in charge was not previously aware of any pending child abuse investigation involving appellee, but nonetheless he realized that appellee was implicating himself, therefore the officer advised appellee of his Miranda rights.

The investigating officers were informed of appellee's statement and appellee was also charged with aggravated assault of the child. Appellee was arraigned on both counts approximately twelve (12) hours after he was initially arrested and about three and one-half (3 1/2) hours after the statement was made.

Appellee filed a pre-trial motion to suppress both the marijuana seized and the statement. The court denied the motion to suppress the marijuana; no appeal was taken from that part of the order. The court did suppress the statement finding that the Commonwealth had violated the "six-hour rule" set forth in Commonwealth v. Davenport, 471 Pa. 278, 370 A.2d 301 (1977). The Commonwealth here appeals the order suppressing appellee's admission. It contends that prior to appellee's statement it had ...


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