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In re C.S.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 5, 2013


Appeal from the Order Entered May 10, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-22-JV-0001097-2011




C.S. appeals from the dispositional order entered in this matter following her adjudication of delinquency for acts constituting a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1)(v), robbery-force however slight and theft. We affirm.

The juvenile court delineated the salient facts as follows.

On September 10, 2011, Cornelius McMullen (McMullen) was working as a store clerk at the Turkey Hill in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Turkey Hill) during the hours of 10:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. While he was working the night shift on
September 10, 2011 the Juvenile entered the Turkey Hill at approximately 11:30 p.m. and started talking to McMullen. The Juvenile indicated to McMullen that they knew each other although McMullen was not sure whether he knew her. McMullen and the Juvenile talked for about 20 minutes but McMullen started to realize that he did not know the Juvenile. At this point, the Juvenile asked McMullen to sell her a pack of Newport cigarettes. McMullen asked the Juvenile to provide him with identification to which she stated that she was drunk and had no identification or money. The Juvenile insisted that he should just give her the cigarettes to which McMullen rejected her request. As McMullen kept rejecting the Juvenile's request for cigarettes, the Juvenile responded that there was a man in her car that had a gun and demanded that McMullen give her the cigarettes. McMullen then felt threatened and stepped away to give the Juvenile access to the passage way to the area where the cigarettes were located, but the Juvenile grabbed some items in front of the cash register and left the Turkey Hill.
McMullen subsequently called his mother and then the store manager of the Turkey Hill, Ricky Perrine. Ricky instructed McMullen to call the police immediately and lock the front doors to the store to secure the crime scene. At the Juvenile's adjudication hearing the surveillance video from the Turkey Hill from the night of September 10, 2011 was presented as evidence. The video showed the Juvenile in the Turkey Hill talking to McMullen and later taking things from the counter in front of the cash register. The video surveillance tape further shows the Juvenile exiting the store and getting into a silver Audi driven by a male.
Sergeant Gregory R. Day (Sgt. Day) was called by the Derry Township Police dispatch center to respond to the robbery at the Turkey Hill. When Sgt. Day arrived at the scene he made contact with McMullen who made a verbal statement, and later a written statement, as to what happened. After obtaining
McMullen's statement, Sgt. Day put out a brief press release with the suspect's description in it. Subsequently, Sgt. Day obtained the surveillance video from Turkey Hill which provided a picture of the Juvenile which was sent out in another press release. Sgt. Day then received several emails and telephone calls indicating that the Juvenile was the person in the surveillance video. Subsequently, Sgt. Day scheduled an interview with the Juvenile and her parents that was held on October 1, 2011.
At the interview, the Juvenile and her parents were read their Miranda warnings and Sgt. Day asked them if they would be willing to give statements without the presence of an attorney to which the Juvenile's father responded "ask away." During the interview, Sgt. Day showed the Juvenile a picture of the surveillance video and the Juvenile quickly responded, "Yes, that's me." Sgt. Day then asked the Juvenile what happened on the evening of September 10, 2011 and she explained that she was drinking at a party in a trailer court where she consumed vodka and approximately three shots of another alcoholic beverage. Thereafter, the Juvenile admitted to Sgt. Day that she went into the Turkey Hill after leaving the party and demanded cigarettes from McMullen. The Juvenile further admitted that when McMullen refused to give her the cigarettes that she tried to make small talk but then ultimately left the store stealing a lighter and a bag of chips.

Juvenile Court Opinion, 6/26/12, 1-3.

The Commonwealth charged Juvenile in its petition with acts constituting theft and robbery under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1)(i) and (ii). The court adjudicated Juvenile delinquent for the commission of acts constituting theft and robbery-force however slight, which is found at 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1)(v). Thus, the juvenile court found Juvenile delinquent of a lesser robbery offense than that set forth in the juvenile petition. Thereafter, on May 10, 2012, the court conducted a dispositional hearing. Juvenile filed a post-dispositional motion on May 15, 2012, and the court denied that motion on May 21, 2012. This timely appeal ensued. The court directed Juvenile to file and serve a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) concise statement of errors complained of on appeal. Juvenile complied, and the matter is now ripe for our review. Juvenile presents two issues for this Court's consideration.

I. Whether the evidence presented at Appellant's adjudication was insufficient to sustain a charge of robbery, as a felony of [the] third degree, where the Commonwealth failed to prove that Appellant used force, however slight, to take items from a convenience store?
II. Alternatively, whether the adjudication was against the weight of the evidence so as to shock one's sense of justice as the Commonwealth failed to prove that Appellant used ...

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