from the Judgment of Sentence entered June 10, 2015 In the
Court of Common Pleas of Erie County Criminal Division at No:
BEFORE: LAZARUS, STABILE, and FITZGERALD[*], JJ.
Jermall Johnson, pro se, appeals from the June 10,
2015 judgment of sentence entered in the Court of Common
Pleas of Erie County following his convictions for, inter
alia, possession of a firearm with an altered
manufacturer's number, persons not to possess, firearms
not to be carried without a license, resisting arrest,
fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and driving
while operating privilege is suspended or
revoked. Upon review, we vacate and remand for
September 13, 2014, around 11:30 p.m., Officer Steve Deluca
was traveling from west to east in a marked police car as he
approached a stop sign at West 4th and Chestnut
Streets in the city of Erie. N.T. Jury Trial, 4/9/15, at 4-6.
Officer Deluca observed Appellant driving an Oldsmobile
minivan approaching the stop sign traveling north to south.
Id. at 6. Officer Deluca recognized Appellant from
working previous cases involving Appellant over the course of
"numerous" years, and knew Appellant to be a
suspended driver. Id. at 4, 7.
Deluca checked Appellant's registration via police radio.
Id. at 8. Officer Deluca proceeded to follow
Appellant while waiting for the registration information,
which came back as belonging to a Joy or Joyce Battko at an
address on the 500 block of West 8th Street.
Id. at 9-10. Because the registration address for
the vehicle was within a block of where they currently were,
Officer Deluca decided to activate his lights and sirens and
pull Appellant over for the suspended driver violation.
Id. at 10.
Officer Deluca activated his lights and sirens, he was
sitting at a traffic light shining his side spotlight on
Appellant's vehicle. Id. Appellant was in the
car in front of Officer Deluca, and there was another car in
front of Appellant. Id. When the light turned green,
Appellant immediately went around the first car, turned
westbound on 9th Street, and "gunned it from
that point, " traveling around 60-70 miles per hour
through a 25 mile per hour neighborhood and not stopping at
any stop signs. Id. at 10-12. Officer Deluca radioed
in the pursuit after Appellant pulled around the car at the
stop light. Id. at 11. Although there were no cars
on the roadway between Officer Deluca's and
Appellant's cars, there were "hundreds of cars"
legally parked along the sides of the streets and a group of
pedestrians had to jump out of the roadway. Id. at
approached a "T" intersection at West
9th Street and Weschler Avenue, Appellant tried to
turn north, but was unable to make the turn and clipped a
telephone pole. Id. at 13. Appellant then hit the
houses at 836 and 834 Weschler. Id. at 13-14.
Officer Deluca parked off the street, jumped out of his
vehicle and drew his weapon. Id. at 14. Officer
Deluca approached Appellant's vehicle from the passenger
side and noticed the front two windows and sliding door
window on the passenger side were smashed upon impact.
Id. Officer Deluca could see an occupant in the
vehicle and yelled, "Show me your hands. Show me your
hands, " as he approached the vehicle. Id.
Appellant attempted to get out of the driver's seat and
was reaching behind the passenger seat of the vehicle.
Id. Officer Deluca noticed Appellant trying to hide
a firearm and yelled, "Drop the gun. Drop the gun."
Appellant complied. Id. at 14, 51.
Deluca and a second officer, Sergeant Noble, took Appellant
into custody after a struggle as Appellant was not complying
with verbal commands. Id. at 15, 18. Officer Deluca
had to strike Appellant once, and the other officer had to
strike Appellant twice to get Appellant on the ground and
into handcuffs. Id. at 19. Officer Deluca advised
Sergeant Noble that there was a firearm in the car. Sergeant
Noble then recovered the weapon before anyone else moved or
entered the vehicle. Id. at 21-22. There were no
shells in the chamber but there were several rounds in the
magazine. Id. at 22. The serial number on the slide
had been obliterated. Id. At trial, Appellant's
driving record indicating his license was under suspension at
the time of the incident was admitted into evidence.
Id. at 29.
cross-examination, Officer Deluca again stated he had known
Appellant for numerous years. He testified he was aware
Appellant had prior motor vehicle code convictions that
resulted in a suspension of Appellant's license.
Id. at 36, 39-41.
October 6, 2014, Appellant filed an application for public
defender and Nicole Sloane, Esquire, was appointed as counsel
for Appellant. On November 3, 2014, Appellant sent a letter
to Attorney Sloane indicating that she was not his attorney.
On November 17, 2014, Appellant, in writing, waived his right
to counsel at the magisterial district court. Appellant,
pro se, filed an omnibus pretrial motion on January
14, 2015, requesting suppression of evidence and dismissal of
his case. The trial court denied Appellant's motion
following a hearing. Subsequently, Appellant hired Joseph
Hudak, Esquire, to represent him at trial.
trial was held over the course of two days. Following the
jury's guilty verdict, the trial court deferred
sentencing and ordered a presentence report. Following a
sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Appellant to an
aggregate of 186 to 384 months of incarceration plus fines,
and granted Appellant's request to dismiss counsel and
proceed pro se. Appellant timely appealed on June
16, 2015 and motioned for modification of his sentence, which
the trial court denied. Appellant filed a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b)
concise statement as ordered by the trial court. The trial
court filed a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a) opinion on July 21, 2015.
August 24, 2016, this Court remanded the matter to the trial
court to provide a copy of the order disposing of
Appellant's application for public defender or a
transcript of the Grazier hearing if Appellant
decided to proceed pro se at the suppression
hearing. The trial court entered a memorandum opinion on
September 26, 2016, stating there was ...