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[U] Commonwealth v. Frisby

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 11, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MUSAFA FRISBY, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence, July 11, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No. MC-51-MD-0001403-2012

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

MEMORANDUM

FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.

Musafa Frisby appeals from the judgment of sentence entered July 11, 2012. Finding no error, we affirm.

After repeatedly violating his probation, appellant willfully disregarded a subpoena and failed to appear for court. On July 11, 2012, the Honorable Kevin Dougherty[1] held a joint contempt and violation of probation hearing, where appellant was found in contempt of court and resentenced for violating his probation. During the proceedings, appellant told

Judge Dougherty, "[t]his is bullshit, man." (Notes of testimony, 7/11/12 at 11.) Based on his use of profanity directed to the court, Judge Dougherty convicted appellant of a second count of contempt. (Id. at 11-12.)

Appellant filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Court of Common Pleas challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the contempt convictions. The petition was denied on October 10, 2012. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.[2]

The sole issue presented is as follows:

Was not the evidence insufficient to find Appellant guilty of criminal contempt as the mere use of vulgarity in a courtroom does not constitute contempt when there was no proof that he possessed the requisite intent to obstruct justice or that his profane editorial remark caused an obstruction of justice?

Appellant's brief at 2.

Our standard of review follows.

A challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence is a question of law, subject to plenary review. When reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence claim, the appellate court must review all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, as the verdict winner. Evidence will be deemed to support the verdict when it establishes each element of the crime charged and the commission thereof by the accused, beyond a reasonable doubt. The Commonwealth need not preclude every possibility of innocence or establish the defendant's guilt to a mathematical certainty. Finally, the trier of fact while passing upon the credibility of witnesses and the weight of the evidence produced, is free to believe all, part or none of the evidence.

Commonwealth v. Teems, 74 A.3d 142, 144-145 (Pa.Super. 2013), appeal denied, __Pa. ___, 79 A.3d 1098 (2013), quoting Commonwealth v. Toland, 995 A.2d 1242, ...


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