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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. KEVIN QUARLES (03/03/87)

filed: March 3, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
KEVIN QUARLES, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence May 21, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal No. 1232-1248 October Term 1984.

COUNSEL

Peter J. Scuderi, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Marilyn F. Murray, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cavanaugh, Olszewski and Tamilia, JJ. Cavanaugh, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Olszewski

[ 361 Pa. Super. Page 274]

Appellant, Kevin Quarles, was convicted of second degree murder, two counts of robbery, and possession of an instrument of crime after a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. On appeal, appellant raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in failing to give jury charges on the effect of both prior felony convictions and prior inconsistent statements on a witness's credibility; (2) whether the trial court erred in permitting the jury to be asked death qualification questions; (3) whether appellant's trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel; and (4) whether the evidence introduced at trial was sufficient to support the jury's verdict. For the reasons stated below, we affirm the judgment of sentence.

Appellant's arrest and subsequent conviction resulted from an incident occurring on September 21, 1984 in McMichael Park in Philadelphia. The incident is aptly described in appellee's brief as follows:

The trial evidence established that on September 21, 1984, at approximately 10:30 p.m., defendant, Markel Lewis, and the murder victim, William Sellers, were walking through McMichael Park in Philadelphia looking for a party, when they came upon Thomas Kelly and Michael Rapone, who were sitting on a park bench drinking beer (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.93; 5/17/85, 31-32; 5/20/85, 3.14). They asked Kelly and Rapone about the party, but they knew nothing about it, and the five men talked for

[ 361 Pa. Super. Page 275]

    approximately one half hour (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.94-1.95; 5/17/85, 33-34; 5/20/85, 3.15). When Kelly said he would have to leave for work and Rapone stated he would go along with him, defendant pulled out a handgun and ordered all four men to raise their hands (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.97; 5/17/85, 37; 5/20/85, 3.16-3.17). Defendant then ordered the four men over to a clump of trees in the middle of the park, where he made then lie face down on the ground (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.97-1.99; 5/17/85, 37-39; 5/20/85, 3.17-3.18). After threatening to shoot Kelly, defendant took $3 from him, along with his keys, watch and wallet, shoved his face in the mud and kicked him in the head and ribs (N.T. 5/17/85, 40-43). Defendant then tied Rapone's hands behind his back with his belt and kicked Lewis and Sellers (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.102; 5/17/85, 44; 5/20/85, 3.21). During the course of the attacks, defendant fired two shots into the ground (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.101, 1.104; 5/17/85, 44-45). As Sellers pleaded with defendant to let him leave because he had two children and a wife, defendant pushed the gun to his head and shot him, killing him (N.T. 5/20/85, 3.23, 3.69).

Officer Stephanie Day, who was making a traffic stop near McMichael Park, heard the three shots at approximately 11:25 p.m. and proceeded to the park to investigate, where she found Kelly running towards her car for help and Rapone running around the park with his hands tied behind his back (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.29-1.39). Officer Robert Kerwin then arrived on the scene and with a spotlight, spotted the body of William Sellers lying face down on the ground in a pool of blood, with a bullet wound under the right eye (N.T. 5/16/85, 1.69-1.71).

Appellee's brief at pp. 1-3 (footnote omitted). After denial of his post-verdict motions, appellant filed the present appeal.

Appellant first contends that the trial court erred by not charging the jury about the effect of prior inconsistent statements and prior felony convictions on a prosecution witness's ...


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