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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILBERT DE SHIELDS (03/05/84)

submitted: March 5, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILBERT DE SHIELDS, APPELLANT



No. 2312 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County at No. 131-133 Dec. 1980.

COUNSEL

Lewis S. Small, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Rowley, Popovich and Cercone, JJ. Cercone, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Popovich

[ 335 Pa. Super. Page 91]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County following the appellant's, Wilbert DeShields', convictions of first degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime, generally. We affirm.

The facts, viewed in a light most favorable to the verdict-winner, reveal that at 12:45 a.m. on the 30th of October, 1980, Tyrone Johnson, Derrick Hart and Richard Moore (also known as "Fats") were engaged in a conversation at the corner of 32nd and Morris Streets in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter the appellant joined the group and got into an argument with Moore. The appellant accused Moore of taking his drugs ("speed") and girl. Moore did not deny the accusations, and this caused the appellant to pull a knife and threaten Moore that "somebody's going to die tonight." Moore told the appellant to put the knife away and fight fair. A fight never materialized, but the appellant did put the knife away.

The four then walked down 32nd Street, with Johnson leaving the group at Arlington. The others continued on

[ 335 Pa. Super. Page 92]

    their way with Moore walking to the left of Hart and the appellant trailing the two. At 32nd and Monument Streets the appellant came up to Moore and said, "You took so much. Take this." Initially, Hart thought that the appellant had punched Moore somewhere on the top of the right shoulder. But, when he turned to see the appellant bring his arm down to his side, he noticed that the appellant "had a knife in his hand." Moore reacted by running into the street and yelling at the appellant that "he would kill him."

The appellant warned Hart that if he "snitched" he would be blamed for the stabbing. In point of fact, Hart did not report what he had seen to the police until the following day, after hearing of Moore's death.

At 12:45 a.m., James Roberts, who lived one block from the scene and knew both the appellant and the victim, heard a knock at his front door. Upon answering, Richard Moore asked Roberts to take him to the hospital because he had been stabbed. However, by the time Roberts got dressed Moore was nowhere to be found.

At 12:55 a.m., Officers Jordan and Edney received a radio bulletin of a stabbing at 3000 Euclid Street, which is approximately 3 blocks from 32nd and Monument. Upon arriving at the stated address, the police were told by a female that the male in her home had knocked on her door and "just fell in." As Officer Jordan attempted to open the front door, he was hampered by the fact that the victim was lying on his left side blocking the door with his feet. Officer Jordan finally gained entry and knelt down beside the victim and saw that he "was breathing rather erratically. He had a hard time breathing, had a lot of pain on his face[.]" The officer asked him who stabbed him. Before the victim lost consciousness, he stated, "Wilbert did it."

Thereafter, the victim was transported to the hospital and there he died as a result of a stab wound sustained on his right shoulder which severed a vein causing 3 ...


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