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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ERIC MAXWELL (05/20/86)

submitted: May 20, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
ERIC MAXWELL, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Criminal Division, No. 1517 C.D. 1984

COUNSEL

Spero T. Lappas, Harrisburg, for appellant.

William A. Behe, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Tamilia and Hester, JJ.

Author: Tamilia

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 557]

This is an appeal from judgment of sentence entered after appellant's conviction by a jury of robbery and criminal conspiracy. Appellant was sentenced to five to ten years imprisonment on each count, to be served at the expiration of a life sentence currently being appealed at No. 703 HBG. 1985.*fn1

For a clear understanding of this case, it is necessary that we summarize the facts and procedures as they relate to other cases involving the appellant, which were tried separately.

The charges against appellant stem from the robbery of a local food market in Steelton, Pennsylvania. On March 15, 1984, appellant entered the store, placed a gun at the head of a cashier and obtained two cash drawers. Appellant then left the store with one cash drawer and entered an automobile registered in his name and driven by a co-defendant, Victor Lewis Johnson.

After his arrest on other unrelated charges, appellant made a statement to a detective of the Harrisburg Police Department in which he admitted responsibility for the robbery. Appellant further indicated he was solely responsible for the robbery and that Victor Johnson played no role whatsoever in the planning of the crime.

Appellant was also charged in connection with the unrelated robbery and homicide which occurred at another store subsequent to the robbery at issue herein. The robbery and homicide charges were docketed to No. 1517 C.D. 1984 and No. 1517(a) C.D. 1984. The instant action was docketed to No. 1517(b) C.D. 1984. Originally, these cases were to be joined for trial; however, pursuant to appellant's motion for severance, 1517 and 1517(a) were tried together and separate from the action herein. Included in appellant's

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 558]

    motion to sever was a motion to suppress the aforementioned statement he had made to the detective. The statement included admissions relative to all three docketed cases.

Prior to the trial on Nos. 1517 and 1517(a), a hearing was held before Judge Schaffner on the motion to suppress wherein the statement was found to be made voluntarily by appellant without duress, when he was in command of his faculties and after being apprised of his constitutional rights. The statement was held ...


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