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[U] Commonwealth v. Baynes

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 11, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
PETER BAYNES, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence, July 12, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Criminal Division at No. CP-02-CR-0006305-2011

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., BOWES AND WECHT, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.

Peter Baynes appeals from the judgment of sentence entered on July 12, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in relation to his convictions of aggravated assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2702(a)(1), terroristic threats, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2706(a)(1), unlawful restraint, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2902, and false imprisonment, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2903. We affirm.

The disturbing facts, as aptly stated by the trial court, are as follows:

Anna Gomez and [appellant] dated for approximately four years and resided together in the first floor apartment at 317 Natchez Street in the Mount Washington area of the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. In the late evening hours of Friday, April 22, 2011, [appellant] approached Gomez and accused her of having affairs with their landlord, his best friend, and several other men. When Gomez denied these allegations [appellant] grabbed her, threw her onto the bed, and ripped off her clothes. [Appellant] climbed on top of her as he said, "We're going to get to the bottom of this." [Appellant] restrained Gomez by kneeling on her shoulders, and punched her repeatedly in the face. Gomez pleaded for [appellant] to stop.
[Appellant] ran into another room to retrieve an aluminum baseball bat ("bat"). Upon returning he stood over her on the bed, holding the bat extended above his head with both arms. [Appellant] said, "Now you are going to tell me the truth. Don't move. We are going to get to the bottom of this." When he started to ask her questions about the alleged affairs, she was able to get to the foot of the bed and attempted to call 911. [Appellant] hit her twice in the head with the bat: once on top of her head and once across her face. This knocked her onto the floor and caused blood to run from her head.
With Gomez lying on the ground on her back, [appellant] stood over her with the bat and demanded that she tell him the truth. Gomez rolled over in an attempt to stand up and run away. [Appellant] stopped her by hitting her with the bat on her back, arms, elbow, and legs. Gomez tried to stand up and lost consciousness. When Gomez awoke she was on the bed and [appellant] told her to wash herself. She stood up and tried to walk, but lost consciousness again. [Appellant] threw a glass of cold liquid on her face to wake her up and said, "Go ahead and get washed off, I am tired of you playing."
She made her way to the bathroom, losing consciousness along the way. At some point [appellant] picked her up and "tossed" her into the bathtub. The shower was running and [appellant] told her to clean herself. Gomez rinsed the blood off her face as [appellant] said, "Look what you made me do to you. Why don't you just listen to me?" Gomez stood up and lost consciousness again.
When she next awoke, [appellant] was holding her by the neck against the bathroom window. He dropped her onto the floor and tried to kick her in the face to make her stand up. She blocked his foot with her hand and again lost consciousness. She next awoke in bed with a towel wrapped around her head. The apartment was quiet, it was dark outside, and her cat was lying on her.
She awoke Sunday morning to [appellant] punching her and yelling at her. Desperate for the attacks to stop, Gomez said, "Yes, I have had affairs with everybody." [Appellant] stopped hitting her and instead asked details about the affairs. Gomez made up stories to pacify [appellant]. Later that day [appellant] pushed Gomez against the bedroom window, which overlooked the front porch. She broke off all of the blinds as she fell to the floor, and at his direction she crawled towards the bed.
City of Pittsburgh police officers Troy Signorella, Ryan Young, and Dale Ruble were dispatched to 317 Natchez Street late that Sunday afternoon on a domestic violence call. The officers knocked on the front and back door with no response. Officer Young remained at the back door while [O]fficer Signorella proceeded to the front porch, where he was able to look in the window.
When [appellant] saw [O]fficer Signorella looking in the bedroom window he told Gomez, "I told you that if the police ever got here I was going to kill you." [Appellant] ran between the bedroom and the living room looking for the bat. Gomez remained on the floor between the bed and the window, covered in a sheet. She had blood on her face and arms, there was blood on the wall, bed, and floor around her. Officer Signorella ...

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