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.

Commonwealth v. Williams

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

December 23, 2016

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
JACK WILLIAMS Appellant

         Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered September 30, 2015 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No: CP-51-CR-0000048-2015

          BEFORE: STABILE, J., DUBOW, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E. [*]

          OPINION

          STABILE, J.

         Appellant Jack Williams appeals from the judgment of sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County ("trial court"), following his bench conviction for escape under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5121(a). Upon review, we affirm.

         The facts and procedural history underlying this case are undisputed. On November 30, 2014, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole ("Board") issued a warrant to commit and detain Appellant on technical parole violations for changing residence without permission and failure to report as instructed. As a result, Appellant was moved to Kintock Hall, a half-way house, where he was to remain pending the resolution of his technical parole violations. While at Kintock Hall, Appellant suffered a medical emergency on December 2, 2014. Appellant was escorted by a member of Kintock Hall to Temple University Hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, Appellant left the company of his escort and fled. Appellant was charged with escape. He proceeded to a bench trial, following which the trial court found him guilty of escape. The trial court sentenced Appellant to 11½ to 23 months' imprisonment on September 30, 2015. Appellant timely appealed to this Court. Following Appellant's filing of a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) statement of errors complained of on appeal, the trial court issued a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a) opinion.

         On appeal, Appellant raises two issues for our review:

[I.] Was the evidence insufficient to support [A]ppellant's conviction for escape where the Commonwealth failed to prove that [A]ppellant was in official detention at Kintock Hall, a halfway house, and not under parole supervision, at the time of the alleged escape?
[II.] Should not this matter be remanded to the trial court for a new trial or a hearing on after-discovered evidence because while this case was pending on appeal [A]ppellant received a letter from the [Board] clarifying that he was under parole supervision when he left Temple Hospital without authorization?[1]

Appellant's Brief at 3.

         We first address Appellant's claim that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for escape because the Commonwealth did not prove that he was in "official detention" when he escaped from Kintock Hall on December 2, 2014. Appellant points out that he was on parole on the date in question, which is excluded from the definition of official detention under Section 5121 of the Crimes Code. Thus, Appellant argues that the Commonwealth could not establish the offense of escape because, as a parolee, he was not in official detention.

         "A claim challenging the sufficiency of the evidence is a question of law." Commonwealth v. Widmer, 744 A.2d 745, 751 (Pa. 2000).

The standard we apply in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence is whether viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the fact-finder to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In applying the above test, we may not weigh the evidence and substitute our judgment for the fact-finder. In addition, we note that the facts and circumstances established by the Commonwealth need not preclude every possibility of innocence. Any doubts regarding a defendant's guilt may be resolved by the fact-finder unless the evidence is so weak and inconclusive that as a matter of law no probability of fact may be drawn from the combined circumstances. The Commonwealth may sustain its burden of proving every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt by means of wholly circumstantial evidence. Moreover, in applying the above test, the entire record must be evaluated and all evidence actually received must be considered. Finally, the finder 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. Antidormi, 84 A.3d 736, 756 (Pa. Super. 2014), appeal denied, 95 A.3d 275 (Pa. 2014).

         Section 5121 of the Crimes Code, relating to escape, provides in part:

(a) A person commits an offense if he unlawfully removes himself from official detention or fails to return to official detention following temporary leave granted for ...

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.