No. 3274 Philadelphia, 1981; Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Montgomery County, No. 3779-80; No. 3070 Philadelphia, 1981; Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Montgomery County, No. 3779, 3779-1 and 3779-2 of 1980.
Rhonda Lee Daniele, Norristown, for appellant (at No. 3274).
Barry M. Miller, Norristown, for appellant (at No. 3070).
Joseph A. Smyth, District Attorney, Norristown, submitted a brief on behalf of Commonwealth, appellee.
Wieand, McEwen and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 317 Pa. Super. Page 393]
William Fields and Charles Fields are brothers. They were tried together by a jury which found them guilty of third degree murder,*fn1 recklessly endangering another person,*fn2 and criminal conspiracy*fn3 as a result of the shooting death of Vincent Esposito outside Esposito's Norristown home on July 20, 1980. Post verdict motions were denied, and sentences of imprisonment were imposed.*fn4 On direct
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appeal, both defendants have alleged insufficiency of the evidence and numerous trial errors which we consider seriatim.
"The test to be applied in determining the sufficiency of evidence to sustain a conviction is whether, accepting as true all the evidence and all reasonable inferences arising therefrom upon which, if believed, the trier of fact could properly have based its verdict, it is sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime or crimes with which he has been charged. As with all challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, in this case the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Waller, 498 Pa. 33, 43, 444 A.2d 653, 658 (1982); Commonwealth v. Bellis, 497 Pa. 323, 330 n. 9, 440 A.2d 1179, 1182 n. 9 (1981); Commonwealth v. Payne, 299 Pa. Super. 378, 379, 445 A.2d 804, 804 (1982); Commonwealth v. Johnson, 273 Pa. Super. 14, 17, 416 A.2d 1065, 1067 (1979). Moreover, the entire trial record must be evaluated, and all evidence actually received must be considered, whether or not the trial courts' rulings thereon were correct. Commonwealth v. Waldman, 484 Pa. 217, 222-223, 398 A.2d 1022, 1025 (1979); Commonwealth v. Tabb, 417 Pa. 13, 16, 207 A.2d 884, 886 (1965); Commonwealth v. Plusquellic, 303 Pa. Super. 1, 4, 449 A.2d 47, 49 (1982); Commonwealth v. Bentley, 276 Pa. Super. 41, 44, 419 A.2d 85, 86 (1980); Commonwealth v. Williams, 273 Pa. Super. 578, 582, 417 A.2d 1200, 1201 (1980)." Commonwealth v. Barnes, 310 Pa. Super. 480, 483, 456 A.2d 1037, 1038 (1983).
So viewed, the evidence established that appellants, together with Michael Joseph Curry and Mark Cassidy, had visited the home of Barry Fields, a brother of appellants, in Conshohocken, Montgomery County, on the afternoon of July 20, 1980. William Fields stated to the others that Vincent Esposito, the husband of his sometime paramour, Carol Esposito, had been harassing him and had again slashed the tires on his vehicle. William Fields let it be
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known that he would like someone to take care of Vincent Esposito. A discussion ensued during which Charles Fields suggested breaking Esposito's arms and legs. Eventually, Mark Cassidy stated that he would take care of Esposito for William Fields. Later that afternoon, Cassidy and William Fields left Barry Fields' house and drove to Norristown where William Fields pointed out Esposito's residence and gave Cassidy a gun. William Fields and Cassidy then rejoined the others in Conshohocken. That evening, Cassidy, Charles Fields and Curry drove to Norristown. They parked their automobile several blocks from Esposito's apartment. While Curry, who had been injured when the gun accidentally discharged, remained in the vehicle,*fn5 Charles Fields and Cassidy went on foot to the Esposito home. Charles threw stones at the window of the second floor apartment, and when Esposito came downstairs and opened the door to investigate, Cassidy fired several shots from the gun provided by William Fields earlier in the day.*fn6 One of these shots struck and fatally injured Vincent Esposito.
A person is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his own conduct or if he is an accomplice of the person who commits it. 18 Pa.C.S. § 306(a) and (b)(3). See: Commonwealth v. Bradley, 481 Pa. 223, 228, 392 A.2d 688, 690 (1978), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 938, 99 S.Ct. 1286, 59 L.Ed.2d 498 (1979); Commonwealth v. Smith, 480 Pa. 524, 528, 391 A.2d 1009, 1011 (1978); Commonwealth v. Everett, 297 Pa. Super. 320, 327, 443 A.2d 1142, 1145 (1982). A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if, with the intent of promoting or facilitating the commission of the ...