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MARK RANSOM v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/07/87)

decided: April 7, 1987.

MARK RANSOM, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, in case of Mark Ransom, Parole No. 8687P, dated June 5, 1986.

COUNSEL

John C. Armstrong, Assistant Public Defender, for petitioner.

Arthur R. Thomas, Assistant Chief Counsel, with him, Robert A. Greevy, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 205]

Mark Ransom appeals from an order of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole which recommitted him to serve twenty-four months of backtime as a technical parole violator. The board concluded that Mr. Ransom had violated, among other parole conditions, condition No. 5b (possession of a weapon) and No. 5c (assaultive behavior).*fn1 Mr. Ransom argues that the record of his parole revocation hearing lacks substantial evidence to support the hearing examiner's finding that he violated conditions 5b and 5c.

Our scope of review is limited, inter alia, to a determination of whether the hearing examiner's crucial finding that the petitioner engaged in assaultive behavior and possessed a weapon is supported by substantial evidence. Allen v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 100 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 29, 513 A.2d 1150 (1986).

Condition No. 5c: Assaultive Behavior

Recognizing that the terminology of the board's parole condition proscribing "assaultive behavior" suggests that it encompasses a broader scope of conduct than that described in the criminal law's definition of assault, we also note that section 2701(a) of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa. C.S. ยง 2701(a), defines simple assault as: "A person is guilty of assault if he: . . . (2) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. . . ."

In its order, the board states that it relied on Mr. Ransom's testimony and the testimony of parole agent Eugene Harnak in determining that Mr. Ransom engaged in assaultive behavior.

The only relevant testimony of Agent Harnak in the record is the following:

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 206]

MR. HARNAK: Basically the only evidence at this time to support 5b and 5c is the Client's statement that he did stab Carol ...


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