Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RUSSELL HAMILTON (02/08/85)

filed: February 8, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RUSSELL HAMILTON, APPELLANT



No. 215 Pittsburgh 1983, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal at No. CC8205687A.

COUNSEL

John H. Corbett, Jr., Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

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

Spaeth, President Judge, and Brosky and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Spaeth

[ 339 Pa. Super. Page 2]

This is an appeal from judgments of sentence for arson*fn1 and burglary.*fn2 Appellant argues that the Commonwealth

[ 339 Pa. Super. Page 3]

    did not establish, on the arson charge, that the fire was of incendiary origin and that appellant set the fire, and on the burglary charge, that appellant entered the house to commit a crime. We find the evidence sufficient to support both convictions. However, because the sentences are inconsistent as recorded, they are vacated and the case is remanded for resentencing.

-1-

To be sufficient to support a conviction of arson, the evidence must establish that there was (1) a fire (2) of incendiary origin (3) set by the defendant.*fn3 Commonwealth v. Galloway, 302 Pa. Super. 145, 151, 448 A.2d 568, 571 (1982). Appellant concedes that there was a fire. Brief for Appellant at 8. His argument is that the evidence was insufficient to establish the second and third elements.

In determining the sufficiency of evidence, we must view all the evidence, together with all reasonable inferences from it, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Lovette, 498 Pa. 665, 450 A.2d 975 (1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 1178, 103 S.Ct. 830, 74 L.Ed.2d 1025 (1983). In arson cases, circumstantial evidence is often especially important. Commonwealth v. DiNicola, 503 Pa. 90, 468 A.2d 1078 (1983); Commonwealth v. Colon, 264 Pa. Super. 314, 399 A.2d 1068 (1979). Viewed in this light, the evidence was as follows.

On June 13, 1980, at about 12:15 a.m., a neighbor heard the sound of glass breaking at a nearby residence at 504 Southern Avenue in Pittsburgh. The neighbor looked out her window and saw a man, whom she later identified as appellant, push the glass out, unlatch the window, and climb through the window into the house. Leaving her window only long enough to call ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.