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Commonwealth v. Fant

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 9, 2015

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellant
v.
RAHIEM CARDEL FANT, Appellee

Argued: October 29, 2014.

Appeal from the Order Entered February 26, 2014, of the Court of Common Pleas of Clinton County, Criminal Division, No: CP-18-CR-0000415-2013. Before MILLER, J.

Karen E. Kuebler, Assistant District Attorney, Lock Haven, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Robert T. Rosamilia, Lock Haven, for appellee.

BEFORE: BOWES, OTT, and STABILE, JJ. OPINION BY STABILE, J.

OPINION

Page 776

STABILE, J.:

The Commonwealth appeals from the February 26, 2014 order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Clinton County granting the suppression motion filed by Rahiem Cardel Fant (Appellee).[1] Following review, we reverse.

In its opinion accompanying the order, the trial court explained:

[Appellee] is charged with four (4) counts of alleged criminal conduct, i.e., Aggravated Assault, a felony of the first degree, Aggravated Assault, a felony of the second degree, Simple Assault, a misdemeanor of the second degree, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person, a misdemeanor of the second degree. All allegations of [Appellee's] criminal conduct arise out of an incident that occurred on North Grove Street in the City of Lock Haven on May 11, 2013, wherein [Appellee] allegedly stabbed an adult male in the abdomen and the arm. [Appellee] is scheduled for jury trial to commence on Thursday, February 27, 2014. [Appellee] filed a Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence Relating to Telephone Recordings and Personal Belongings on February 21, 2014. This [c]ourt conducted a hearing on February 25, 2014. At the hearing, the Commonwealth offered the testimony of Jackie Motter, Warden of the Clinton County Correctional Facility and Jenifer Bottorf, Victim/Witness Coordinator of Clinton County. The Commonwealth also offered four (4) exhibits which were entered into evidence.
[Appellee's] Motion seeks the exclusion of recordings made at the Clinton County Correctional Facility between [Appellee] and unknown persons and the subsequent receipt by law enforcement personnel of a bag of clothing and other personal belongings formerly owned by [Appellee] which were in the basement of Angela Monks, the previous paramour of [Appellee]. [Appellee] argues numerous reasons why these items should not be admitted into evidence.

Trial Court Opinion (T.C.O.), 2/26/14, at 1-2.

The trial court granted Appellee's suppression motion and prohibited the introduction of, and references to, recordings made during Appellee's visitation sessions at the Clinton County Correctional Facility (the facility) as well as the introduction of, and references to, personal belongings discovered as a result of the recordings. Trial

Page 777

Court Order, 2/26/14, at 1. The Commonwealth filed this timely appeal from the February 26, 2014 order. On March 16, 2014, in accordance with the trial court's directive, the Commonwealth filed its Rule 1925(b) statement of errors complained of on appeal asserting five errors, which are condensed into the three issues presented to this Court as follows:

I. Did the court err in finding that the recordings made of Appellee's correctional facility visitation calls were not telephone calls which fell ...

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