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[U] Commonwealth v. Mayfield

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 4, 2014



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered June 28, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No(s): CP-51-CR-0008294-2009.




Lamar Mayfield ("Appellant") appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after a jury convicted him of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and numerous related charges.[1]

The pertinent facts, which are taken from the trial testimony and are largely undisputed, are summarized as follows: On July 31, 2007, Officer Thomas Kuhn, a member of the Philadelphia narcotics unit, received a complaint of illegal gun and drug activity at 606 West Mayfield Street in Philadelphia. The complaint implicated "a black male, bald, with a beard that may go by the name of Kevin . . . Anderson." N.T., 4/2/12, at 70. That same day, Officer Kuhn and his partner, Officer Roberson, initiated an investigation of the suspect property by meeting with a confidential informant ("CI").

After determining that the CI was carrying neither money nor drugs, the officers provided the CI with $40.00 pre-recorded money, and directed him to 606 West Mayfield Street. Appellant was sitting on the front steps of the two-story house, and conversing with an unidentified man. As the officers watched, the CI and Appellant had a brief conversation, after which Appellant got up and entered the house through the unlocked front door. Within minutes, he exited the house, said something to the CI, and dropped an object into the CI's hand. In exchange, the CI gave Appellant the $40.00 buy money. The CI then returned to the officers and gave them eight red-tinted Ziploc bags of marijuana.

Officer Kuhn prepared a search warrant application for 606 West Mayfield Street. On the warrant, the officer listed the owner of record of the property, Aqueelah Barrett. Unaware of Appellant's true identity, Officer Kuhn listed the person observed making the drug deal as "occupant, " and offered the following description: "one black male . . . 28 to 32 years old, dark-complected and . . . bald." N.T., 4/2/12, at 86.

On August 1, 2007, at 9:15 p.m., Officer Kuhn and other officers met to execute the warrant. When no one responded to the officers' knock and announcement that they were serving a bench warrant, they gained entry by using a battering ram on the front door. In the living room, Officer Roberson apprehended Ms. Barrett, who was seated next to her one to two month old infant, who was in a baby carrier. Next to the baby was a large Ziploc bag filed with 272.8 grams of marijuana. From the living room the officer also recovered three scales, a mirror, a sifter and a razor blade. All of these items contained a white powdery residue. Elsewhere on the first floor, the officers confiscated hundreds of unused Ziploc bags with various tints and markings, including red-tinted bags identical to those the CI had delivered to Officers Kuhn and Roberson the day before.

Lieutenant Joseph Bologna proceeded to the second floor of the house accompanied by Officer McDonnel and entered the front bedroom. When the officers lifted the mattress of the bed, they discovered the following: 1) a Tazer; 2) a .45 caliber Ruger loaded with five rounds; 3) a black Cobra Arms .380 with one round in the chamber and six in the magazine; 4) a .40 caliber Taurus with one round in the chamber, ten in the magazine, and two extra magazines; 5) a Hungarian Arms 9-millimeter with one round in the chamber and thirteen in the magazine; and 6) a silver Cobra 9-millimeter, Nodel MAC11, with one round in the chamber and thirty-five in the magazine.

In a drawer in the smaller of the two nightstands, the officers found $1935.00 in cash in various denominations, including the two twenty dollar bills of prerecorded buy money the CI had used to purchase the marijuana from Appellant the day before.

In the same drawer, the officers found a letter addressed to Appellant at 606 West Mayfield Street, a work ticket in Appellant's name, a Pennsylvania identification card for Appellant listing his address as 913 Carver Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a gas bill for 606 West Mayfield Street addressed to Ms. Barrett, a Chase Bank mortgage statement addressed to Ms. Barrett at an address of 3149 North 26th Street, and two photographs. In one photograph, Appellant and Ms. Barrett were seated together on a ride at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park. In the other, Appellant and an unidentified man posed in front of a white Cadillac Escalade.

During the search, other officers uncovered a second cache of five firearms in the basement of the house. They found the following: 1) a .380 caliber AMT silver model Backup with a magazine of five rounds; 2) a .22 caliber ERMA LA with a magazine of five rounds; 3) an AR-15 rifle with two magazines containing 30 rounds each; 4) a 7.62 X 39 caliber Norinco MAK-90; and 5) an AK-47. In addition to the weapons, the officers found four bags of ammunition matching the guns.

Also recovered from the basement in the same area as the guns was a black duffle bag containing two rolls of duct tape, a can of pepper spray, two black ski masks with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth, two pairs of black gloves, a fake beard, a fake mustache, a mirror, a bottle of spirit gum, and a bottle of spirit gum remover.

After executing the search warrant for the residence and arresting Ms. Barrett, Officer Kuhn prepared an arrest warrant for Appellant, listing six addresses where he had reportedly lived. Officer Kuhn personally visited three of the houses in search of Appellant. The warrant unit visited the remaining addresses. Although the police had visited the occupants at each location and told Ms. Barrett that Appellant was wanted, Appellant remained at large until May 24, 2009.

During the time preceding Appellant's arrest, the Commonwealth proceeded with its case against Ms. Barrett. On October 22, 2009, the charges against Ms. Barrett were nol prossed.

On April 2, 2012, Appellant's trial began before the Honorable Willis W. Berry, Jr., and a jury. Over the Commonwealth's objection, Appellant moved to introduce evidence of the disposition of Ms. Barrett's case. Appellant's counsel informed Judge Berry of his belief that the charges were nol prossed because "IAD and the Feds" were investigating Officer Kuhn. N.T., 4/2/12, at 60. The parties engaged in a protracted discussion regarding the admission of such ...

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