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[U] Commonwealth v. Walker

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 11, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
VANCE WALKER Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order July 2, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County Criminal Division at No: CP-04-CR-0000801-1996.

Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., BOWES, J., and WECHT, J.

MEMORANDUM

WECHT, J.

Vance Walker ("Walker") challenges the July 2, 2013 order dismissing his petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (" PCRA"), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-46. We affirm.

In a previous memorandum, we set forth the factual and procedural history of this case as follows:

The charges in this case arose from the execution of a search warrant at the alleged residence of [ Walker] at 1515 Elgin Street, Aliquippa, on May 5, 1994. Agent Barbara Garrett of the Office of t he Attorney General, Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control, testified at trial that she was part of the investigation of this residence that led to Walker's arrest and the seizure of multiple baggies [ containing] cocaine residue with the corners cut off. Agent Garrett described to the jury that drug traffickers com m only package cocaine for sale by placing it in the corners of the baggies. The affidavit of probable cause filed to obtain the search warrant for 1515 Elgin Street included a description of events leading to [ Walker's] prior arrest on February 23, 1993, by Pittsburgh police for possession of crack cocaine and possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia and criminal conspiracy.
Before the execution of the search warrant in the case before us, surveillance was done on the home and several trash collections were conducted by law enforcement. Certain documents were found in the trash, including two utility envelopes addressed to [ Walker] at 1515 Elgin Street, Aliquippa. Agent Garrett also testified that during her surveillance of the home prior to execution of the search warrant, she observed [ Walker] park his car in the garage, enter the home without knocking and, soon after, turn on a light in an upstairs bedroom of the residence.
During the execution of the search warrant, agents found documents in the name of or addressed to "Vance Walker, " at the Elgin Street address, including bank statements, a veterinary bill and personal letters, throughout the house. The agents also found "owe sheets, " which Agent Garrett testified are lists of drug debts, in the house. Agent Garrett noted that the back of the veterinary bill addressed to Walker had been used as an owe sheet. Inside the house, agents also found a man's jacket containing $11, 730 in cash, and $2, 145 was found on the living room floor. A loaded Smith and Wesson .22 caliber hand gun, previously reported as stolen from a Beaver Falls residence, was found in a kitchen cupboard. Agents also found 151 grams of cocaine and a small digital scale in a paper bag on top of the overhead garage door adjacent to the house. The same vehicle [ Walker] was observed driving the night surveillance was conducted was parked in the garage. Two bottles of Inositol, a known cutting agent for cocaine, were found in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom of the home, respectively.
Agents also recovered the lease for the rental of the property from the owner, Steven Colbert. It was determined that Colbert was not living in the residence at the time of the search. Agents also found an agreement of sale between Colbert and [ Walker] for the residence. At trial, Christine Waugh, an employee of the rental agent for the property, testified that on February 23, 1994, she had met with [Walker], Steven Colbert and Colbert's girlfriend. I t had been her understanding that the three of them would be living there, but on a subsequent home inspection, she noted that only one bedroom was being used as a bedroom and the other two were being used for storage of clothing and weightlifting equipment. Waugh further testified that she telephoned the residence several times to complain about dogs being kept there and that each time she called, [ Walker] answered the telephone or she reached the answering machine. During her visits to the premises, only [ Walker] was there. When agents executed the search warrant, [ Walker] and his brother, Dodd Walker, were present inside the home. I n addition to the drugs and paraphernalia mentioned above, agents seized 14 pieces of crack cocaine from Dodd Walker.
On February 12, 1997, a jury convicted [ Walker] of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance[1] and receiving stolen property.[2] Thereafter, he was sentenced to seven to fourteen years[ '] imprisonment. Trial counsel, Paul Gettleman, Esquire, appealed the judgment of sentence to this court, which affirmed the conviction and sentence. Commonwealth v. Walker, No. 482 Pittsburgh 1997 (Pa.Super. May 18, 1998) (unpublished memorandum). On September 23, 1998, our Supreme Court denied Walker's petition for allowance of appeal.

Commonwealth v. Walker, 1101 WDA 2000, slip op. at 1-4 (Pa.Super. June 4, 2001) (citation modified).

On December 10, 1999, Walker filed a petition for relief under the PCRA. On May 12, 2000, the PCRA court held an evidentiary hearing. On June 1, 2000, the petition was denied. Walker appealed, and we affirmed the PCRA court's denial of post-conviction relief on June 4, 2001. Id. at 1, 10. On March 22, 2002, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied Walker's ...


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