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. Storey

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

July 20, 2017

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
ZEPHANIAH STOREY Appellant

         Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence December 2, 2015 In the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-45-CR-0000342-2014

          BEFORE: PANELLA, J., LAZARUS, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.[*]

          OPINION

          LAZARUS, J.

         Zephaniah Storey appeals from his judgment of sentence, entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, following his conviction for one count of drug delivery resulting in death, [1] two counts of possession with the intent to deliver, [2] two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, [3] and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.[4] Upon review, we affirm.

         Nicholas Possinger testified that Donald J. O'Reilly, a recovering heroin addict, called him asking Possinger to obtain heroin for him. Possinger testified that he then telephoned Storey, his usual dealer, to secure the heroin. Possinger and Storey made arrangements to meet at the Mount Airy Casino parking lot on February 10, 2013, for the exchange. Possinger took O'Reilly's money and approached Storey's vehicle to purchase the heroin. Possinger was the only one who met with or saw Storey during the drug deal. Possinger bought ten bags of heroin, which he gave to O'Reilly.

         O'Reilly gave Possinger two bags as compensation for setting up the drug deal. O'Reilly contacted Possinger again on February 13, 2013, to have him set up another drug deal, again offering him two bags of heroin as compensation. This deal occurred at the intersection of Abeel Road and Fish Hill Road. As in the previous deal, Possinger was the only person who saw or dealt with Storey. This time, Possinger purchased six bags of heroin, which were stamped with the initials A.O.N. Possinger testified that he recognized this stamp from heroin he had used in the past, and warned O'Reilly to be careful when taking his four bags, as this heroin was stronger than that purchased on February 10, 2013, and O'Reilly was just starting to use heroin again.

         On February 14, 2013, at approximately 1:45 a.m., Officer Christopher Staples of the Pocono Township Police Department responded to a call regarding an unresponsive male with a possible drug overdose. Officer Staples testified that he found O'Reilly in his bedroom in the early stages of rigor mortis. Officer Staples observed drug paraphernalia around O'Reilly's room, including a lighter, a spoon, hypodermic needles, a measuring cup, and a belt. Deputy Coroner Teri Rovito subsequently pronounced O'Reilly dead. In O'Reilly's pockets, she discovered four empty wax paper bags stamped with the letters A.O.N. The toxicology report indicated that there were fatal levels of morphine in O'Reilly's blood.

         Police obtained a search warrant for the cell phone records of Storey, Possinger, and O'Reilly in an attempt to determine their general location during the two drug transactions. The records indicated that Possinger's cell phone was utilizing towers in the general vicinity of the Mount Airy Casino on February 10, 2013, and that Storey was within the vicinity of the second transaction on February 13, 2013.

         A jury convicted Storey of the aforementioned charges on September 10, 2015, and on December 2, 2015, he was sentenced to an aggregate term of not less than 108 months nor more than 276 months' imprisonment. Storey filed post-sentence motions on December 14, 2015, in which he requested reconsideration of sentence, arrest of judgment and a new trial. Post-sentence motions were denied on April 11, 2016. Storey filed a notice of appeal on April 18, 2016, followed by a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) concise statement of errors complained of on appeal on June 7, 2016. The trial court filed its Rule 1925(a) opinion on June 16, 2016.

Storey raises the following issues for our appeal, verbatim:
1. Whether the trial court erred in denying both pre- and post-trial motions arguing the drug delivery resulting in death statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2506, as applied, is unconstitutionally vague?
2. Whether the trial court erred in denying both pre- and post-trial motions arguing the drug delivery resulting in death statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2506, as applied, unconstitutionally rendered [Storey] strictly liable for the death of the decedent?
3. Whether the conviction for the drug delivery charge was insufficient as a matter of law?
4. Whether the trial court erred in allowing the highly prejudicial bad acts testimony by Nicholas Possinger without giving any cautionary instruction that [Storey] had a lot of customers?
5. Whether the trial court erred in allowing Officer Christopher Staples to respond to the Commonwealth's questions about whether he know [Storey's] phone number by stating "every day you respond to a call, it goes into the database, " a statement which placed [Storey's] prior interaction with law enforcement before the jury?
6. Whether the Commonwealth committed prosecutorial misconduct by bolstering its case before the jury within the jury?
7. Whether the trial court erred in giving an accomplice liability charge to the jury that they could not understand, as clearly acknowledge by the attorneys and the trial judge on the record? This ambiguity was never cleared up with the trial judge even after the jury asked for clarification on the elements of the drug resulting in death charge and the confusing charge was left with them to decide whether [Storey] was guilty if either of the two drug delivery resulting in death charges in the alternative - either as a principal or as an accomplice.
8. Whether the conviction for the drug delivery resulting in death was against the greater ...

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.