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[U] Commonwealth v. Kinney

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 28, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
CHARLES B. KINNEY, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered on February 12, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Criminal Division, No. CP-36-CR-0002030-2012

BEFORE: DONOHUE, SHOGAN and MUSMANNO, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

MUSMANNO, J.

Charles B. Kinney ("Kinney") appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after he was convicted of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance ("PWID"), possession of drug paraphernalia, and persons not to possess firearms.[1] We affirm.

On January 27, 2011, police officers executed a search warrant on Kinney's residence and found approximately 60 grams of crack cocaine, a loaded handgun, and various types of drug paraphernalia. After seizing these items, the police placed Kinney under arrest and charged him with the above-mentioned crimes.

Kinney filed a Motion to Suppress the evidence, which the trial court denied after a hearing. The matter then proceeded to a non-jury trial, at the close of which the trial court found Kinney guilty of all charges. Prior to sentencing, the Commonwealth gave Kinney Notice of its intent to seek the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences applicable to Kinney's offenses. Additionally, the trial court ordered the preparation of a Presentence Investigation Report ("PSI").

At sentencing, the trial court sentenced Kinney on his PWID conviction to serve ten to twenty years in prison, [2] and ordered him to pay a fine of $30, 000. The trial court sentenced Kinney to serve five to ten years in prison for his conviction of persons not to possess firearms, and six to twelve months for his conviction of possession of drug paraphernalia. The court ordered these sentences to run concurrently with the sentence imposed for Kinney's PWID conviction. Kinney filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Sentence, which the trial court denied. Kinney then timely filed a Notice of Appeal.

Kinney presents the following issues for our review:
I. Did the trial court erroneously find [] Kinney guilty of the charge of persons not to possess a firearm where evidence presented by the Commonwealth was insufficient to prove [] Kinney guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt where [] Kinney was not previously convicted of an offense equivalent to a felony drug conviction in Pennsylvania?
II. Did the trial [court] erroneously apply the five[-]year mandatory minimum sentence pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7508 where [] Kinney had not been previously convicted of another drug trafficking offense[, ] as required by statute?
III. Was an aggregate sentence of 10 to 20 years [in prison] … manifestly excessive and clearly unreasonable under the circumstances of this case, as it was not consistent with the protection of the public, the gravity of the offenses, and the rehabilitative needs of [] Kinney?

Brief for Appellant at 5.

Kinney first argues that his conviction of persons not to possess firearms cannot stand because the Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. at 11. Particularly, he contends that, although he has a lengthy criminal history, none of his prior offenses would make him ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to section 6105 of Pennsylvania's Uniform Firearms Act. Id. at 12.

When reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence claim,

[o]ur standard of review is whether the evidence admitted at trial, and all reasonable inferences drawn from that evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as verdict winner, were sufficient to enable the fact finder to conclude that the Commonwealth ...

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