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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CHERYL M. PARRISH (07/16/87)

decided: July 16, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
CHERYL M. PARRISH, APPELLEE



Appeal No. 95 W.D. Appeal Dkt., 1985 from Order of Superior Court Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ. Larsen, J., files a dissenting opinion. McDermott dissents.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 515 Pa. Page 297]

ORDER

Motion to Quash Appeal granted for lack of jurisdiction. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 9781(f).

Disposition

For the foregoing reasons, I would reverse the order of Superior Court and reinstate the sentences imposed by the trial court.

[ 515 Pa. Page 298]

LARSEN, Justice, dissenting.

The majority quashes this appeal for lack of jurisdiction. I dissent. Although the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9781(f) appear to preclude review in this Court of the discretionary aspects of sentencing,*fn1 I believe the extraordinary posture of this case necessitates our limited review of the appropriate standards to be applied by intermediate appellate courts when they review the discretionary aspects of sentencing.

On August 23, 1983, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Cheryl M. Parrish, appellee herein, got behind the wheel of her automobile after imbibing a considerable quantity of alcohol,*fn2 and, on her way between two drinking establishments in Potter County, struck and killed a fifteen year old boy when her vehicle left the roadway. The victim, William Nickerson, who had been walking with his cousin along Route 6, was lifted off his feet and carried on the hood of appellee's vehicle approximately 110 feet before he fell to the ground. Then, appellee left the scene of the accident and drove to her home. The windshield of appellee's vehicle had been shattered on the right side upon impact with the victim, and a witness observed appellee kicking in the headlight on the right side of her vehicle when she returned home.

Appellee attempted to convince authorities that she was the victim of a hit and run accident in front of her residence, but her vehicle, a light blue compact model, matched

[ 515 Pa. Page 299]

    the description of the vehicle involved in the homicide along Route 6. Additionally, police officers observed blood stains, fiber samples and hair on the hood, windshield and headlamp of appellee's vehicle. Appellee changed her story about the incident several times, finally admitting that she knew she had hit something that night, but she steadfastly maintained that she did not know she had hit and killed a person until she overheard a conversation at police barracks following her arrest.

Appellee was charged with seven violations of the Motor Vehicle Code: homicide by vehicle (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3732); homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3735); driving under the influence (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3731); reckless driving (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3714); leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3742); driving on roadways laned for traffic (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3309); and duty to give information and render aid (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3744). Through her trial counsel, appellee negotiated a plea bargain and entered a plea of guilty to the charges of homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury.

Appellee was sentenced in the Court of Common Pleas of Potter County on February 27, 1984, to 1 1/2 to 3 years incarceration on the charge of homicide by vehicle, a consecutive term of 1 to 2 years on the charge of driving under the influence, a concurrent term of 6 months to 1 year on the charge of leaving the scene of an accident, and the payment of fines totaling $1,000.00 plus the costs of prosecution. The prison terms were to be served in the State Correctional Institution at Muncy. The trial judge denied appellee's motion for reconsideration of ...


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