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[U] Commonwealth v. Freeman

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 6, 2014



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered January 29, 2013, In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. CP-51-CR-0008809-2012.




Appellant, Darryl Freeman, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered on January 29, 2013, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. We affirm.

The trial court set forth the facts of this case as follows:

At the trial for the Appellant, the complainant Bishop Mary Floyd Palmer, testified that on October 17, 2010, around 10 o'clock in the evening, she had parked her car, which was a green four door Sedan, a Saturn Ion, at 19th and Cherry Street in the city and county of Philadelphia and then she went to a restaurant. (N.T., 12/12/12, pgs. 20-21). She testified that at the time she parked, the vehicle was in fine condition and was secured with the windows and doors locked and with the alarm turned on. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 21). Inside the vehicle was a tote bag which contained a pocketbook, wallet, bible, and a few other items. There was also a computer bag with some other items in it, and a garment bag which contained her bishop attire. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 21). When Bishop Palmer returned to her vehicle after leaving the restaurant sometime around 11:30, she testified that the right rear passenger window was [broken, there was a] rock on the back seat[, ] her garment bag was thrown to the side[, ] and both [of] her other bags, the tote bag and computer bag, were missing. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 22). At that point, she immediately called the police and when they came to the scene they told her to look through the vehicle and take an inventory of what was missing from the vehicle. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 23). Bishop Palmer searched the vehicle to determine what was missing and then went over to Central Detectives. She gave them a statement of what had happened and made an itemized list of what was missing from the vehicle. (N.T., 12/12/12, pgs. 23-24).
On the next day October 18, 2010, Bishop Palmer testified that she received a call from a police officer who told her that they had apprehended someone who was in possession of her tote bag and some of her other belongings were possibly in the nearby location. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 25). She was told to come down and see if any of the items were her property. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 25). Bishop Palmer went to the location and she testified that she found her Social Security card, one of her bibles, some business cards and contact information. (N.T., 12/12/12, pgs. 25-26). The police officer who met her at the location allowed her to take those items back and also gave her back the tote bag. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 26).
Police Officer Francis Shirley, the officer who contacted Bishop Palmer, also testified at trial that on October 18, 2010, his tour of duty took him to the area of 20th Street and JFK Boulevard in the city and county of Philadelphia in response to a radio call. (N.T., 12/12/12, pgs. 9-10). When he arrived at the corner of 20th and JFK Boulevard, which is about three blocks from 19th and Cherry, he saw the Appellant standing up and holding a large black … purse. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 11). Officer Shirley testified that Appellant was holding the purse with his one hand and with his other hand was reaching into the purse. Appellant was taking items out of the purse which looked like papers, a bible, some smaller items, and a wallet. Appellant was dropping those items on the ground and continuing to look in the purse. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 12). At that point, Officer Shirley testified that he stopped his vehicle and got out to approach the Appellant. As Officer Shirley approached, he asked Appellant what he was doing and Appellant dropped the purse on the sidewalk, quickly got on his bike and took off. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 12). Officer Shirley relayed this information over police radio. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 12). Officer Shirley then retrieved the purse and all the items that Appellant dropped on the sidewalk. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 13). The officer testified that he found ID and a Social Security card both belonging to Mary Palmer. He then called the 9th District to find out if any thefts or anything related to that nature were previously reported to that area. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 13). He was informed that there was a complainant, Mary Palmer, who reported a theft from [an] auto on 19th and Cherry the night before and one of the items taken was a large black tote bag as well as various other items. (N.T., 12/12/12, pgs. 13-14). Officer Shirley testified that a short time later, around a half hour or so, he was contacted by another police officer and told to meet him at 1800 Cuthbert Street. When Officer Shirley arrived at that location, there were two police officers who had stopped the Appellant and Officer Shirley identified the Appellant as the person he saw with the purse who took off on the bicycle. (N.T., 12/12/12, pg. 14). At that point, Appellant was placed into custody. Officer Shirley went back to headquarters and called the complainant, Mary Palmer, to come down to the 9th District and identify her property. (N.T., 12/12/12, pgs. 14-15).

Trial Court Opinion, 6/17/13, at 2-4.

Appellant was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. Appellant waived his right to a jury trial, and at the conclusion of a bench trial, which was held on December 12, 2012, the trial court found Appellant guilty of receiving stolen property. On January 29, 2013, the trial court sentenced Appellant to twelve months of reporting probation. No post-sentence motion was filed, and Appellant filed a timely appeal.

On appeal, Appellant raises one issue for this Court's consideration:
Did the Commonwealth prove that Appellant received, retained or disposed of another person's property and that he did so knowing or ...

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