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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RANDY GLENN CHIESA (03/23/84)

submitted: March 23, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RANDY GLENN CHIESA, APPELLANT



No. 751 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Criminal Division at No. 1885 of 1980.

COUNSEL

George M. Lynch, Latrobe, for appellant.

Margaret S. Picking, Assistant District Attorney, Greensburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Popovich, Hoffman and Lipez, JJ. Lipez, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Popovich

[ 329 Pa. Super. Page 403]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence which was imposed upon appellant, Randy Chiesa, after his conviction for robbery and criminal conspiracy. We affirm.

Appellant raises six issues which arise from searches and seizures which were conducted by the police.

Appellant contends that: (1) the first search of appellant's automobile was illegal because it was without a warrant; (2) the first search of appellant's automobile was illegal because the doctrine of plain view is inapplicable; (3) the warrantless search was illegal because the police officer failed to establish any exigent circumstances; (4) the warrantless search was illegal because the police officer failed to establish any of the exceptions to obtaining a warrant; (5) the subsequent searches of appellant's automobile and the residence were tainted by the initial illegal search of the car; and (6) the location of appellant's car which was in his driveway was a location where the appellant had a reasonable expectation of privacy. We must reject appellant's contentions.

The facts, which were recounted for the most part by the suppression court are as follows:

On September 20, 1980, at approximately 9:00 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at the Highway Theatre on Route 30 near Latrobe, Pennsylvania. A general description of the size of a man who was wearing a mask was given to Pennsylvania State Policeman Laposky. Trooper Laposky briefly put under surveillance the residence of one Arthur Bollman in the Village of Snydertown in Derry, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, because the physical description of one of the actors matched the physical description and mask worn by an actor in five previous robberies which the police were investigating. The appellant, a tenant at the Bollman residence, was a suspect in these prior robberies. After a brief surveillance, Trooper Laposky entered upon the Bollman property on a driveway where the appellant's

[ 329 Pa. Super. Page 404]

    vehicle was parked. While using a flashlight, Laposky looked into the front seat of the automobile and saw what appeared to be a mask lying in open view on the front seat.

The second search of the car -- the 1975 Blue Chevrolet Coupe of the defendant -- produced a navy blue ski mask, a 22 caliber colt gun and one shell, a plaid shirt, a red vinyl bag containing a blue shirt and a ...


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