Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

[U] Commonwealth v. Murphy

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 10, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
THOMAS C. MURPHY Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence dated April 13, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Criminal Division at Nos: CP-02-CR-0003387-2010, CP-02-CR-0011771-2010

BEFORE: BOWES, WECHT, and STABILE, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

STABILE, J.

Appellant Thomas C. Murphy (Murphy) appeals from judgments of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court), which, following a bench trial, convicted him of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and speeding in violation of Sections 3802(a)(1), (a)(2), and (c), [1] and 3362(a)(3) of the Vehicle Code (Code).[2] For the reasons set forth below, we affirm judgment of sentence at docket 3387 and vacate the judgment of sentence at docket 11771 and remand the case to the trial court for resentencing.

The facts underlying this appeal are undisputed. On January 19, 2010, Officer Peter Chuberko of Ross Township, Pennsylvania, filed a complaint against Murphy, charging him with violating Sections 3802(a)(1) and (c) of the Code on December 22, 2009 (First Case). In his affidavit of probable cause accompanying the complaint, Officer Chuberko alleged in part:

On December 22, 2009 at approximately [ 4: 43 a.m., ] I was notified by a passing Port Authority driver who advised me that a dark blue Chevrolet pick[ -] up truck sitting on Nelson Run Rd. with the driver slum ped over the steering wheel. Upon arrival[, ] I found a dark blue Chevrolet pick[ -] up truck bearing PA registration [ ] . The struck [ sic] was stopped facing North on Nelson Run Rd. at Sovereign St. in the travel lane. The truck's lights were on including the brake lights. When I approached the driver's window I noticed that the truck was in gear and the driver was laying on the steering wheel. I aroused him and spoke to him at the window. He was identified as [ Murphy] . I observed that his eyes were very glassy and his speech was slurred and thick[ -] tongued. He also had a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

Affidavit of Probable Cause, 1/ 19/ 10. On March 10, 2010, a magisterial district judge held a preliminary hearing at which Murphy asserted that the Commonwealth failed to file the com plaint within five-days of his release from custody, as required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 519(B)(2).[3]

On June 29, 2010, Pennsylvania State Trooper Christopher J. Robbins filed a com plaint against Murphy in connection with a separate incident that occurred on May 20, 2010 (Second Case). As a result of that incident, Trooper Robbins charged Murphy with violating, inter alia, Sections 3802(a)(1) and (b), and 3362(a)(3) of the Code. On August 24, 2010, a different magisterial district judge held a preliminary hearing on the Second Case. At the hearing, similar to the previous preliminary hearing, Murphy asserted that the Commonwealth failed to com ply with the five-day filing requirement of Rule 519(B)(2), because it did not file the com plaint relating to the May 20, 2010, incident until June 29, 2010.

On January 5, 2011, Murphy filed with the trial court a pretrial omnibus motion to dismiss the First Case, alleging that the Commonwealth failed to comply with the five-day filing requirement of Rule 519(B)(2). Murphy also asserted in his pretrial omnibus motion that the Commonwealth's evidence was insufficient to prove that Murphy's blood was drawn within two hours after he had been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle, as required by Section 3802(c) of the Code.

On July 26, 2011, Murphy filed with the trial court a pretrial omnibus motion to dismiss the Second Case. Murphy again asserted that the Commonwealth failed to comply with the five-day filing requirement of Rule 519(B)(2). Following a hearing, the trial court denied Murphy's motion relating to the Second Case. I n so doing, the trial court found that the Commonwealth "exceeded the five (5) day provision [ of Rule 519(B)(2)] by 34 days." Trial Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, 9/ 11/ 2011, at 2. Notwithstanding the Commonwealth's violation, the trial court concluded that Murphy was not entitled to dismissal of charges. Specifically, the trial court concluded that Murphy did not establish that he suffered prejudice, as required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 109.[4]

On October 6, 2011, following a bench trial, at which both cases were consolidated for disposition, the trial court found Murphy guilty of violating Sections 3802(a)(1) and (c) of the Code in the First Case and Sections 3802(a)(2)[5] and 3362(a)(3) of Code in the Second Case.[6]

Following the trial court's orders of sentence, Murphy appealed to this Court. The trial court issued an opinion in support of its order in accordance with Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a). In the opinion, the trial court found, inter alia:

On December 22, 2009, at approximately 4: 43 a.m., Ross Township Police Officer Peter Chuberko was waved down, in the area of Babcock and McKnight, by a Port Authority driver who informed Officer Chuberko of a dark colored [ sic] Chevy truck stopped in the middle of Nelson Run Road. The Port Authority driver's name was later found to be Dale Lesonick. Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Chuberko pulled up behind a dark blue Chevy truck in the lane of travel near Sovereign Street adjacent to McKnight Road. Officer Chuberko then exited his ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.