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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GERALD WOODSON (03/22/85)

filed: March 22, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
GERALD WOODSON



Appeal from the Order of December 13, 1982 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. 82-03-3781-3782.

COUNSEL

Eric B. Henson, Deputy District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellant.

John Packel, Chief, Appeals, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Del Sole, Montemuro and Hoffman, JJ. Del Sole, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Hoffman

[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 393]

The Commonwealth contends on appeal that the trial court erred in granting appellee's motion in arrest of judgment. We agree and, accordingly, reverse and remand for the disposition of appellee's outstanding post-verdict motions.

On February 16, 1982, Catherine Brooks encountered a masked burglar in her North Philadelphia home. After the man fled with her purse, she called the police. The responding officers arrested appellee as he left the alley behind the

[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 394]

Brooks house. Subsequently, a search of the appellee's person revealed some money, including a peculiarly-folded dollar bill, and two small safety pins. At trial, Brooks testified that she had two small safety pins and a bill folded in the same fashion in her purse when it was stolen.

Appellee was charged with burglary, theft, and criminal trespass. On April 15, 1982, he filed a motion to suppress the physical evidence taken from him in the custodial search, alleging, inter alia, that his arrest was without probable cause. On June 19, the Honorable Eugene E.J. Maier heard and denied the motion. On September 28, the Honorable Lawrence Prattis, sitting without a jury, found appellee guilty of burglary and criminal trespass. Appellee then filed several timely post-verdict motions. On December 13, 1982, Judge Prattis granted appellee's motion in arrest of judgment, ruling that the motion to suppress should have been granted.*fn1 This appeal followed.

Our function on review is to determine

     whether the record supports the suppression court's factual findings and the legitimacy of the inferences and legal conclusions drawn from those findings. In making this determination, we consider only the evidence of the prosecution's witnesses and so much of the evidence for the defendant as, fairly read in the context of the record as a whole, remains uncontradicted.

Commonwealth v. Hunt, 280 Pa. Superior 205, 207-08, 421 A.2d 684, 685 (1980); see also Commonwealth v. Crissy, 304 Pa. Superior 38, 40, 450 A.2d 89, 90 (1982). In the instant case, the suppression court failed to comply with Pa.R.Crim.P. 323(i) which requires the entry on the record of a "statement of findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether the ...


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