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[U] Commonwealth v. Johnson

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 11, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
AARON JOHNSON Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence May 18, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0003744-2010

BEFORE: GANTMAN, J., OLSON, J., and PLATT, J.

MEMORANDUM

GANTMAN, J.

Appellant, Aaron Johnson, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, following his jury trial conviction of first-degree murder.[1] We affirm.

In its opinion, the trial court fully and correctly sets forth the relevant facts and procedural history of this case. Therefore, we have no reason to restate them.

Appellant raises the following issues for our review:
SHOULD [APPELLANT] BE GRANTED AN ARREST OF JUDGMENT ON THE CHARGE OF MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE WHERE THE EVIDENCE IS INSUFFICIENT TO SUSTAIN THAT VERDICT, WHERE THE COMMONWEALTH DID NOT PROVE THE CASE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, NOR DID THEY PROVE THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME INCLUDING MALICE AND PREMEDITATION?
SHOULD [APPELLANT] BE GRANTED A NEW TRIAL AS THE VERDICT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE GREATER WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE?

(Appellant's Brief at 3).

Preliminarily we observe, "to preserve their claims for appellate review, appellants must comply whenever the trial court orders them to file a Statement of [Errors] Complained of on Appeal pursuant to [Rule] 1925. Any issues not raised in a [Rule] 1925(b) statement will be deemed waived." Commonwealth v. Castillo, 585 Pa. 395, 403, 888 A.2d 775, 780 (2005) (quoting Commonwealth v. Lord, 553 Pa. 415, 420, 719 A.2d 306, 309 (1998)). Instantly, Appellant raised only the sufficiency of the evidence claim in his Rule 1925(b) statement. Consequently, Appellant's second issue, which challenges the weight of the evidence, is waived. See id.

After a thorough review of the record, the briefs of the parties, the applicable law, and the well-reasoned opinion of the Honorable Glenn B. Bronson, we conclude Appellant's remaining issue merits no relief. The trial court opinion comprehensively discusses and properly disposes of the sufficiency of the evidence claim. (See Trial Court Opinion, dated December 19, 2012, at 4-6) (finding: compelling evidence was presented at trial to prove Appellant acted with specific intent to kill victim, where Appellant slammed victim against wall, pulled out gun, put gun in victim's mouth, put gun directly against victim's neck, and then shot victim in neck; medical examiner, who conducted victim's autopsy, testified to reasonable degree of scientific certainty that gunshot wound to neck initiated unbroken chain of events, which led to victim's death sixteen years later; medical examiner determined that victim's quadriplegia, which was caused by gunshot wound, led to victim having enlarged heart, coronary arterial sclerosis, five pound fecal obstruction, and pneumonia, which all caused victim to lose oxygen to his brain and die; medical examiner's testimony proved there was unbroken chain of events between Appellant's shooting of victim and victim's death from complications of shooting; evidence in this case was plainly sufficient to support jury's verdict). The record supports the trial court's decision; therefore, we see no reason to disturb it. Accordingly, we affirm on the basis of the trial court's opinion.

Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Judgment Entered.


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