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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EARL GLENWOOD SHAVER (05/27/83)

decided: May 27, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
EARL GLENWOOD SHAVER, APPELLANT



No. 80-3-705, Appeal of Earl Glenwood Shaver from the finding of degree of guilt on May 12, 1980 by the Honorable Patrick J. Toole, Jr. of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County on Criminal Information No. 155 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Joseph P. Giovannini, Joseph C. Giebus, Asst. Dist. Attys., for appellee.

Basil G. Russin, Public Defender, Patrick J. Flannery, Asst. Public Defender, for appellant.

Roberts, C.j., and Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ.

Author: Zappala

[ 501 Pa. Page 169]

OPINION

On May 6, 1980, Appellant entered a general plea of guilty to murder, and a plea of guilty to charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and recklessly endangering another person. On May 12, 1980, following a hearing to determine the degree of guilt, the lower court found Appellant guilty of first degree murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. That finding is the subject of the instant appeal.

The only issue raised is whether the evidence was sufficient for a determination of first degree murder. It is well recognized in this Commonwealth that the test for sufficiency of the evidence is that the record facts must be such that in viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the trier of fact to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Commonwealth v. Upsher, 497 Pa. 621, 444 A.2d 90 (1982); Commonwealth v. Bastone, 466 Pa. 548, 353 A.2d 827 (1976).

"Where an accused enters a plea of guilty to murder generally, it is sufficient in itself to sustain a conviction of [third degree murder]". Commonwealth v. Walker, 460 Pa. 658, 334 A.2d 282 (1975); Commonwealth v. Zanine, 444 Pa. 361,

[ 501 Pa. Page 170282]

A.2d 367 (1971); Commonwealth v. Dillinger, 440 Pa. 336, 269 A.2d 505 (1970).*fn1

Thus, we need only analyze whether there was sufficient evidence from which the hearing court could find the requisite intent necessary to raise the degree of murder to first degree.

Appellant, in his brief, does not dispute that there was sufficient evidence from which the presumption of intent could be raised, See Commonwealth v. Thornton, 494 Pa. 260, 431 A.2d 248 (1981); Commonwealth v. Tomoney, 488 Pa. 324, 412 A.2d 531 (1980); Commonwealth v. Craig, 471 Pa. 310, 370 A.2d 317 (1977); Commonwealth v. Ewing, 439 Pa. 88, 264 A.2d 661 (1970). Rather, he urges that the testimony proffered by his psychiatrist ...


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