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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM VERDEKAL (01/23/86)

submitted: January 23, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM VERDEKAL, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence March 14, 1985 in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Criminal No. 2202-83.

COUNSEL

Mark Pinnie, Media, for appellant.

Joseph J. Mittleman, Assistant District Attorney, Media, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Olszewski, Tamilia and Kelly, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 414]

William Verdekal, appellant, was found guilty of robbery and theft by unlawful taking following a jury trial. In his appeal, appellant presents six issues for appellate review:

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 415]

(1) whether the motion to supress appellant's identification by the victims was properly denied; (2) whether the appellant was placed in double jeopardy when the court declared a mistrial and he was subsequently retried; (3) whether it was error to allow the jury to have certain physical evidence with them during their deliberations; (4) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction and was the verdict contrary to the evidence; (5) whether there was sufficient probable cause to arrest the appellant; and (6) whether appellant was afforded effective assistance of counsel.

On March 28, 1983, at approximately 12:55 p.m., a gunman robbed Koban's Beverage, Inc., in Glenolden, Delaware County. The gunman, brandishing a .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver, was described by the store owner and his manager as a white male in his early thirties wearing a brown knit cap; brown pants; oxford shoes; a white handkerchief, tied in a knot so as to form a mask; and a distinctive brown tweed sweater. Three witnesses told police investigators that at approximately 1:00 p.m. that day, they saw a white Mercedes-Benz truck stopped adjacent to Koban's Beverages. An occupant of the truck exited the vehicle and walked in the direction of Koban's Beverage.

On April 7, 1983, appellant and John Robert Turcotte were arrested by the Clifton Heights Police Department in Delaware County and charged with a separate robbery. Found on the person of Turcotte was a .38 caliber snubnosed revolver. He was wearing a distinctive brown tweed sweater. Around his neck was a white handkerchief, tied in a knot so as to form a mask. The two were arrested while riding in a white Mercedes-Benz truck owned and driven by appellant.

Learning of the Clifton Heights arrest, Glenolden Police showed the three witnesses the appellant's white Mercedes-Benz truck, which they said looked like the truck they had seen on the day of the Koban's robbery. Both of the victims of the robbery identified Turcotte's sweater as the one worn by the gunman. On April 14, 1983, the appellant

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 416]

    and Turcotte were arrested and charged with robbery, conspiracy, and theft by unlawful taking. The appellant was subsequently identified by the victim as the gunman. His original co-defendant, John Turcotte, was discharged at that hearing.

A jury was convened before the Honorable Robert W. Wright. The next day, the jury deliberated from 2:05 until 3:55 p.m., indicating to the court that they were deadlocked. Subsequently, the court declared a mistrial. A retrial on September ...


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