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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RICHARD RIELAND A/K/A REILAND (01/13/84)

filed: January 13, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RICHARD RIELAND A/K/A REILAND, APPELLANT



No. 1207 Pittsburgh 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County at No. 8101129A.

COUNSEL

David G. Metinko, Assistant Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Rowley and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 324 Pa. Super. Page 118]

On July 17, 1981, a jury found appellant, Richard Rieland, guilty of burglary,*fn1 theft by unlawful taking or disposition,*fn2 receiving stolen property,*fn3 and criminal conspiracy.*fn4 Post-trial motions were filed and denied. On November 10, 1981, appellant was sentenced to two and one-half to five years imprisonment for burglary. Sentence was suspended on the remaining counts. This appeal followed. We affirm.

On appeal, appellant contests only his conspiracy conviction and raises three issues relating thereto.*fn5 They include:

(1) Did the trial court err in refusing to suppress appellant's confession, when it was given involuntarily?

(2) Did the trial court err in permitting the introduction of appellant's confession without independently establishing the corpus delicti of the crime?

(3) Was the evidence insufficient to support the criminal conspiracy conviction?

The first issue was argued at a pre-trial suppression hearing, at trial and in post-verdict motions. Without stating its reasons, the suppression court denied appellant's motion to suppress. Another Common Pleas Court criminal division judge presided at appellant's trial, and allowed the voluntariness question to be submitted to the jury. The two police officers who were interviewing appellant when he incriminated himself testified that appellant was not

[ 324 Pa. Super. Page 119]

    coerced into making an inculpatory statement. The jury resolved this question against appellant, obviously believing the officers' testimony. Where a trial court has held a statement to be voluntary, the review on appeal must be limited to a consideration of the testimony of the Commonwealth's witnesses and that portion of the testimony for the appellant which remains uncontradicted. See Commonwealth v. Smith, 487 Pa. 626, 410 A.2d 787 (1980). In addition, "[i]t is the province of the trier of facts to pass upon the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be accorded the evidence produced." Commonwealth v. Murray, 460 ...


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