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Commonwealth v. Koorn

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 27, 2013

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
SHAIN KOORN Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence May 2, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0005388-2011

BEFORE: GANTMAN, J., MUNDY, J., and COLVILLE, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

MUNDY, J.

Appellant, Shain Koorn, appeals from the May 2, 2012 judgment of sentence of five years' probation, imposed after he was found guilty of false imprisonment and terroristic threats.[1] After careful review, we affirm the judgment of sentence.

The relevant factual and procedural history of this case may be summarized as follows. In October 2010, Appellant entered into an agreement with Lawrence Gillen to repair Gillen's 1959 Corvette. Subsequently, on March 1, 2011, Gillen approached Appellant in the garage of the auto-body shop where the repairs were being performed and expressed his displeasure with the pace and cost of the repairs. Gillen's friend, William Hall, had accompanied Gillen to the shop. As Gillen and Hall were leaving, Appellant pulled a handgun from his waistband and struck Hall in the back of the head with it. He also struck Gillen in the face with the gun when Gillen attempted to dial 911 from his cell phone. Appellant then placed the gun against Gillen's forehead and threatened to shoot him if he did not terminate the call.

After knocking the cell phone from Gillen's hand, Appellant exited the garage and locked the door behind him trapping Gillen and Hall inside. Gillen and Hall remained trapped in the garage for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before police arrived. Once police arrived, Appellant cooperated and consented to a search of his vehicle. The gun was recovered from the trunk of Appellant's vehicle, and it was discovered that the gun was not loaded.

On May 25, 2011, Appellant was charged with false imprisonment, terroristic threats, and other related offenses in connection with the events of March 1, 2011. Subsequently, Appellant waived his right to a jury trial and proceeded to a bench trial on May 2, 2012. He was convicted of the aforementioned offenses and sentenced that same day.[2] Appellant did not file post-sentence motions. This timely appeal followed on June 1, 2012.[3]On appeal, Appellant raises the following issues for our review.[4]

1. Is [Appellant] entitled to an arrest of judgment where the verdict is not sustained by sufficient evidence and where the Commonwealth did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and further where the Commonwealth did not make out the elements of [t]erroristic [t]hreats and [f]alse [i]mprisonment as they did not prove that [Appellant] threatened to commit any crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another?
2. Is [Appellant] entitled to a new trial on the charge of [t]erroristic [t]hreats and [f]alse [i]mprisonment where the verdict is not supported by the greater weight of the evidence?
3. Is [Appellant] entitled to an arrest of judgment on the charge of [f]alse [i]mprisonment?

Appellant's Brief at 3.

In his first issue, Appellant asserts there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for terroristic threats. Id. Specifically, Appellant avers that the Commonwealth failed to prove that he threatened Gillen with the intent to terrorize him.[5] Id. at 7. Our standard of review in deciding a sufficiency of the evidence claim is well settled.

The standard we apply in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence is whether viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the fact-finder to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In applying the above test, we may not weigh the evidence and substitute our judgment for [that of] the fact-finder. In addition, we note that the facts and circumstances established by the Commonwealth need not preclude every possibility of innocence. Any doubts regarding a defendant's guilt may be resolved by the fact-finder unless the evidence is so weak and inconclusive that as a matter of law no probability of fact may be drawn from the combined circumstances. The Commonwealth may sustain its burden of proving every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt by means of wholly circumstantial evidence. Moreover, in applying the above test, the entire record ...

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