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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. SALVADOR CARLOS SANTIAGO (06/27/88)

filed: June 27, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
SALVADOR CARLOS SANTIAGO, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of May 8, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas of Lawrence County, Criminal Division at No. 106, A, B, C, D, E, & F of 1985

COUNSEL

Lawrence M. Kelly, New Castle, for appellant.

Thomas W. Minett, Assistant District Attorney, Ellwood City, for Com., appellee.

Olszewski, Popovich and Watkins, JJ. Popovich, J., concurs and dissents with an opinion.

Author: Olszewski

[ 376 Pa. Super. Page 57]

On September 13, 1985, a jury found appellant Salvador Carlos Santiago guilty but mentally ill of murder in the second degree, robbery, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, crimes committed with firearms, firearms not to be carried without a license and former convict not to own a firearm. Timely post-trial motions were filed and denied and Santiago was sentenced to life imprisonment. This timely appeal followed.

On appeal, Santiago raises seventeen (17) issues for our consideration:

I. Whether the jury verdict of September 13, 1985 is contrary to the evidence?

II. Whether the jury verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence?

[ 376 Pa. Super. Page 58]

III. Whether the pre-trial suppression hearing judge, President Judge Glenn McCracken, Jr., erred when he decreed that the arrest of the defendant was legal, and that the arrest warrant was issued upon probable cause?

IV. Whether the pre-trial suppression judge, President Judge Glenn McCracken, Jr., erred when he decreed defendant's statements to Pittsburgh City Police Detectives, Ronald Freeman and Terry Hedinger and PSP Joseph Holtman and Corporal John P. Wherthey, should not be suppressed as violative of defendant's Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights?

V. Whether the pre-trial suppression hearing judge, President Judge Glenn McCracken, Jr., erred when he decreed that the defendant's taped statement to Pennsylvania State Police Trooper, Joseph Holtman, and Corporal John P. Wherthey, was not a result of delay from arrest to preliminary arraignment?

VI. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he allowed inflammatory descriptions of the gunshot wounds from the pathologist, which exceeded the bounds of relevancy and were highly prejudicial to Defendant?

VII. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he allowed the opinion testimony from Pennsylvania State Trooper, Darryl Mayfield, which was not unequivocal and was not within a reasonable degree of certainty.

VIII. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he allowed the Pittsburgh Police Detective, Terry Hedinger, to testify as to the oral statements of Major Anderson advising defendant of his rights?

IX. Whether the prosecutor/assistant district attorney, J. Craig Cox, after being instructed by the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, during cross-examination of Fred P. Gallo, Jr., psychologist, as to the examination of the Defendant to the events of January 15, 1985, surrounding the shooting, again inquired of Dr. Jonathan Himmelhoch,

[ 376 Pa. Super. Page 59]

    psychiatrist, as to the events surrounding the shooting, which caused the defense to object, for the same constituted prosecutorial misconduct, since it appeared that the defendant had to exercise his Fifth Amendment Right to remain silent?

X. Whether the prosecutor/assistant district attorney, Thomas Minnett, committed prosecutorial misconduct in the closing summation to the jury:

A. When he displayed, demonstratively, the murder scene directly in front of the family of the victim, with the intent to inflame the passion of the jury;

B. When he made reference that the defense was attempting to divert the jury's attention from important facts of the case;

C. When he argued that the defense was arguing three (3) to four (4) different defenses, or inconsistent defenses which were illogical and inconsistent, for the defense had argued that the defendant did the shooting but was insane and didn't imply any other defenses;

D. By the prosecution's reference that the jury could presume specific intent and malice?

XI. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he instructed the jury as to defendant's burden of proof as to "legal insanity" by preponderance of the evidence, and mental illness beyond a reasonable doubt which is violative of both Federal and Pennsylvania Constitutions?

XII. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he submitted a single verdict slip as to homicide charges, which was misleading?

XIII. Whether or not the pre-trial suppression hearing judge, President Judge Glenn McCracken, Jr., erred when he permitted the in-court identification of the defendant by James Suttles?

XIV. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he allowed district attorney/assistant district attorney, Thomas Minnett, to elicit testimony from the

[ 376 Pa. Super. Page 60]

    prothonotary concerning the defendant's prior sentence of incarceration?

XV. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he allowed the deputy warden, Dominic Farina, to testify as to the defendant's incarceration at the time of trial before the jury?

XVI. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he precluded evidence from Frankie Mack as to a telephone conversation in the presence of a Youngstown Police Officer on January 15, 1985, where an unknown white male related to her "for $1,000.00 I will give your car back"?

XVII. Whether the trial judge, Francis X. Caiazza, erred when he allowed FBI agents to testify that the defendant had been charged with the Federal offense ...


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