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[U] Commonwealth v. White

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 4, 2014

BILLY WHITE, Appellant


Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of February 8, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-46-CR-0002430-2012.

Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.




Appellant, Billy White, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered on February 8, 2013. We affirm.

The trial court has explained, in part, the underlying facts of this case:

In the early morning hours of February 26, 2012, Appellant entered the home of his then-girlfriend, [T.T.] . . . . without permission. Appellant had a gun and threatened [T.T.] that he would pistol whip her if she did not go outside and talk to him about an incident that occurred with her daughter the previous day. [T.T.] complied out of fear. Once in Appellant's vehicle, Appellant threatened to knock [T.T.'s] teeth out if she did not listen to him talk. Responding to a 911 call at that location, the Lower Providence Township police arrived on scene [and arrested Appellant].
On November 26, 2012, [Appellant's] two-day jury trial began. . . . [T]he evidence adduced at trial established that the [subject] residence [that Appellant entered on February 26, 2012] was private property and the tenant of that property was [T.T.] only. Appellant did not have a key to the property. Despite his frequent stays at the property with [T.T.], Appellant was not invited [to stay with her] that night. . . . [Further, a]t trial, [Appellant's] counsel[] cross-examin[ed T.T. as to] whether Appellant had permission to be at [T.T.'s] home [on] the night of the incident[. T.T.] unequivocally testified that [Appellant] did not [have permission to be in her home at that time].
[During trial, ] the evidence showed that on February 26, 2012 at approximately 2:00 a.m.[, ] Appellant arrived at [T.T.'s] home and texted her to come outside, but [T.T.] refused. The two of them went back and forth, with [T.T.] at the second[-]floor bedroom window and Appellant in the driveway. [T.T.] testified that she did not invite Appellant into her house, and that she told him to leave the property. Appellant refused, and continued to ask [T.T.] to come outside and get into his car and talk to him.
Despite Appellant's insistence, [T.T.] was not willing to go outside and talk to Appellant. At some point in that argument, Appellant came into [T.T.'s] home through a screen door and made his way up the stairs to the second[-]floor bedroom. Not only was Appellant not invited to come inside, [but T.T.] was so fearful of Appellant that night, that as soon as she heard Appellant coming through the screen door she dialed 911. While in the second-floor hallway, Appellant pulled a gun on [T.T.] and threatened to pistol whip her if she did not come outside with him to his car to talk.[1]

Trial Court Opinion, 4/15/13, at 1-2 and 4-5 (internal citations omitted).

T.T. testified that she walked down the stairs to the vehicle and that, while she walked, Appellant followed her with his gun pointed at the back of her head. N.T. Trial, 11/26/12, at 59. As T.T. testified, when she got into Appellant's vehicle (which was parked inside of T.T.'s garage), Appellant began talking about T.T.'s daughter, B.T. T.T. testified: "[Appellant s]aid if I say anything he will knock the F-ing teeth out of my mouth and my daughter's." Id. at 60.

T.T. testified that she did not reply to Appellant and that she simply listened to Appellant speak because she "didn't want [her] teeth to get knocked out of [her] mouth." Id. at 63. As T.T. testified, she sat in Appellant's vehicle for approximately 60 seconds "when a [police] cruiser pulled up. And when [she] saw the headlights, that's when [she] jumped out [of] the car." Id.

Corporal Walter Trimbur of the Lower Providence Township Police Department testified that he was the first officer to arrive on scene and that he immediately ordered Appellant to step out of the vehicle. Id. at 27. As Corporal Trimbur testified, Appellant complied with the order and, during their ensuing conversation, the Corporal "was able to detect a strong odor of burnt marijuana being emitted from [Appellant]." Id. at 28. The Corporal then arrested Appellant. Id.

The police impounded Appellant's vehicle, obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, and, during the subsequent search, discovered: a plastic baggie containing marijuana; a loaded, operable revolver containing four rounds; and, a holster. N.T. Trial, 11/27/12, at 6-25. Appellant did not have a license for the firearm and testing revealed the presence of Appellant's DNA on the revolver. Id. at 25 and 91-93.

The Commonwealth charged Appellant with burglary, criminal trespass, terroristic threats, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying a firearm without a license.[2] The jury found Appellant guilty of all charges and, on February 8, 2013, the trial court sentenced Appellant to an aggregate term of five to ten years in prison.

Appellant did not file a post-sentence motion. Instead, Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal and the trial court ordered Appellant to file and serve a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal, ...

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