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[U] Commonwealth v. Miller

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 3, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
NATASHA MILLER Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence November 7, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-07-CR-0001023-2012

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., OLSON, J., and WECHT, J.

JUDGMENT ORDER

PANELLA, J.

Appellant, Natasha Miller, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered November 7, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County. After review, we vacate and remand for resentencing.

On September 17, 2012, Miller entered guilty pleas to multiple drug-related offenses. At sentencing, on November 7, 2012, the trial court applied the mandatory minimum sentence under 18 Pa.Cons.Stat.Ann. § 7508(a)(3)(iii) for offenses where possession of cocaine exceeds 100 grams. On appeal, Miller argues, inter alia, that the trial court erred in applying the mandatory minimum where the Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence as to the weight of the controlled substance.

In Alleyne v. United States, U.S., 133 S.Ct. 2151, 186 L.Ed.2d 314 (2013), the Supreme Court held that sentencing factors that support the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence must be submitted to a jury for trial or admitted to by the defendant. See Alleyne; United States v. Yancy, 725 F.3d 596 (6th Cir. 2013). During the pendency of this appeal, a subsequent panel of this Court held that Alleyne applies to mandatory minimum sentences imposed in Pennsylvania. See Commonwealth v. Munday, 78 A.3d 661, 666 (Pa.Super. 2013) ("[W]hen a mandatory minimum sentence is under consideration based upon judicial factfinding of a 'sentencing factor, ' that 'sentencing factor' is, in reality, 'an element of a distinct and aggravated crime' and, thus, requires it be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."). Both the Commonwealth and Miller now agree on appeal that the 'sentencing factor' at issue, i.e., the weight of the cocaine, was not determined by the factfinder to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, in light of the decisions in Alleyne and Munday, we vacate the judgment of sentence and remand for resentencing. Upon remand, we caution the trial court that the mandatory minimum sentence is not available for sentencing purposes.

Judgment of sentence vacated. Case remanded for resentencing. Jurisdiction relinquished.

Judgment Entered.


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