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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DANIEL LEE BALLIET (02/03/88)

submitted: February 3, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT
v.
DANIEL LEE BALLIET



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Lycoming County at No. 87-10,047.

COUNSEL

Amy L. Hallenbeck, Assistant District Attorney, Montoursville, for Com., appellant.

Peter T. Campana, Williamsport, for appellee.

Cavanaugh, Olszewski and Popovich, JJ. Olszewski, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Popovich

[ 374 Pa. Super. Page 236]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County granting a motion to suppress by the appellee.*fn1 We reverse.

The validity of the warrant is not at issue; only the manner in which it was executed is under scrutiny.

The record indicates that Pennsylvania State Trooper Daniel Rogers, in the company of Corporal Donald Dorsett and two other police officers, set out to execute a warrant of the appellee's (Daniel Lee Balliet's) apartment. It appears

[ 374 Pa. Super. Page 237]

    that a bomb had been discovered under a vehicle being used by the appellee's former mother-in-law, whom the appellee purportedly blamed for his ex-wife's departure. Also, the ex-wife stated to the authorities that she witnessed appellee making bombs in his apartment. Thus, with warrant in hand, Trooper Rogers and Corporal Dorsett, at approximately 5:30 p.m. on the 6th of December, 1986, made their way to the appellee's apartment. Once there, Trooper Rogers gave the following account of what transpired in response to questions being asked of him by the attorney for the Commonwealth:

Q. And can you describe to us what happened when you went to execute the search warrant?

A. I myself and corporal Dorsett met with two city police officers. We went to the home of Mr. Balliet at 640 Grace Street, went to the second floor where his apartment was located. We rapped at the door several times. We received no response. I personally vocally identified ourselves as being state police officers. Still no response. We then discussed whether or not we should forcibly enter into the home, or apartment, rather, for another minute or so and we did decide that we should forcibly enter the apartment.

Q. From the time that you first arrived and knocked on the door until you entered the apartment, how long -- how much time would you say had elapsed?

A. No more than five minutes.

Q. And when you say you forcibly entered the apartment, can you describe ...


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