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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. PETER RUFFO (01/15/87)

filed: January 15, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
PETER RUFFO, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence May 5, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal No. 84-08-2411, 2412, 2414, 2418, 2420.

COUNSEL

Elaine DeMassee, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Jane C. Greenspan, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and McEwen, and Olszewski, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 182]

This is an appeal from judgment of sentence imposed following appellant's plea of guilty to burglary, indecent assault, aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime and kidnapping. Appellant contends that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him to 20 to 40 years total confinement when it failed to consider any factor other than the nature of the crime involved. We have carefully reviewed the record and conclude that this contention has merit. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of sentence and remand the case for resentencing.

The trial court set out the facts as follows.

On August 10, 1984, Stephen and Anita McBeth, 2636 Brown Street, City and County of Philadelphia, hereinafter Complainants, resided at the aforementioned address with their two children, Micah and Leila. On the evening in question, Leila was two years of age. At approximately 9:00 p.m., the Complainants put the two children to bed together in the second floor middle bedroom. At approximately 11:00 p.m., the Complainants retired to bed and Mrs. McBeth checked on the children prior to returning and both were in their beds asleep.

On the morning of Saturday, August 11, 1984, Mrs. McBeth arose at approximately 6:30 a.m. and began to prepare breakfast. Her son Michah came downstairs and questioned the whereabouts of his sister, Leila. The entire family frantically searched the house for Leila, but to no avail. The family summoned the police when they observed that a window fan in the home's living room had

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 183]

    been forced out and was lying on the floor leaving the window wide open.

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 55]

A search was immediately commenced of the neighborhood for the young child and she was located in a badly beaten condition lying in an alley approximately one block from her home. Philadelphia Police Detective Matthew Hrobak would testify, "she (Leila) was in a fetal position with her head facing South and the child was covered from head to toe with fecal matter. There was a diaper about three feet away with no fecal matter on it. Leila had several cuts and bruises all about her body. At the time she was not breathing and appeared to be blue." (N.T. January 6, 1986, Page 55). The detective would further testify ". . . underneath Leila there were two pools of blood and green glass covered with what he thought was blood. The child was bleeding from her neck, chest, abdomen, and her vagina and that she had no pulse and her skin was cold" (Ibid Page 56). The child was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital where she was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit for five days and discharged from the hospital on August 21, 1984. Dr. Harry Kaplan, Chief of Pediatric Services for Hahnemann Hospital, indicated Leila's diagnosis upon admission as follows:

"Extensive bruises on the forehead and both temples, bruising of both ears, a three to four centimeter deep laceration across the front of her neck exposing her sterno-mastoid muscle; there were multiple lacerations across the abdomen, multiple lacerations across the chest wall, a vaginal laceration and a third degree tear of the vagina, that the rectal mucosa was torn and exposed and there were extensive blood clots indicating recent bleeding in both the vaginal and anal regions. There was multiple scratches over her entire body and she was in a state of shock, not fully conscious, very high pulse rate and very weak."

Further, as a result of the deep cuts on the Complainants chest, abdomen and neck, permanent scarring has

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 184]

    occurred which may possibly be eradicated, if at all, only ...


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