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[U] Commonwealth v. Holloway

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

January 14, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
CRAIG JUSTIN HOLLOWAY, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence August 30, 2012 in the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County Criminal Division at No.: CP-28-CR-0001283-2011

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., MUNDY, J., and PLATT, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

PLATT, J.

Appellant, Craig Justin Holloway, appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after his jury conviction of two counts of persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell, or transfer firearms.[1]

In February 2010, pursuant to a private sale, Appellant purchased ammunition in Franklin County from now-retired Pennsylvania State Police Corporal Bradley T. Hutzell. The next day, Appellant bought a .22 caliber Remington rifle from Hutzell, later called Hutzell to say it was inoperable, and then purchased a .30-06 Remington rifle from Hutzell in exchange for the .22.

A few months later, in the fall of 2010, Hutzell learned from the State Police's daily e-bulletins that Appellant was a person of interest. Because authorities in Huntington County were interested in Appellant, Hutzell contacted them and learned that Appellant is a convicted murderer who cannot legally possess firearms. Thereafter, Trooper Andrew Corl, an investigator in Huntington, filed the above firearm charges against Appellant in Franklin County, where the sales had occurred.

At Appellant's April 19, 2012 trial, the Commonwealth presented the testimony of Hutzell and Trooper Corl, and Appellant testified on his own behalf. The parties stipulated that Appellant had a prior conviction for murder of the third degree and conspiracy, and could not own firearms. On the same day, the jury convicted Appellant of the two counts of person not to possess.

On August 30, 2012, with the benefit of a pre-sentence investigation report (PSI), the court sentenced Appellant to concurrent terms of not less than five nor more than ten years' incarceration for the two counts. The court denied Appellant's post-sentence motion on November 19, 2012 and Appellant timely appealed. He also filed a timely statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to the trial court's order. See Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b). The court filed a Rule 1925(a) opinion on January 31, 2013, in which it relied, in large part, on the November 19, 2012 opinion on the post-trial motions.[2] See Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a).

1. Whether the trial court erred in finding the evidence sufficed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in that the intent of knowingly possessing the prohibited firearms cannot be inferred from the totality of the circumstances?
2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion for new trial asserting that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence due to the omissions of identification and of corroborating records?
3. Whether the suppression court abused its discretion in excluding from the cross-examination of the witness who sold the firearms and identified the Appellant as the purchaser impeachment evidence on compliance with federal laws on record-keeping by sellers who are firearms dealers?
4. Whether the sentencing court abused its discretion in imposing sentence without considering a sentence in the mitigated range of the Sentencing Guidelines, stating that there was no mitigated range, and so restrained its exercise of discretion contrary to the fundamental norms of the sentencing process?

(Appellant's Brief, at 7-8).

In Appellant's first issue, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he "had the necessary intent to knowingly possess the firearms prohibited by 18 Pa.C.S.[A]. ยง 6105(a)(1)." ...


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