from the Judgment of Sentence July 17, 2015 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at
BEFORE: OTT, J., DUBOW, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
Ashantee Singleton appeals the judgment of sentence entered
by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County after
Appellant pled guilty to possession with intent to deliver a
controlled substance (PWID). Appellant argues that the trial
court erred in denying his suppression motion. We affirm.
September 19, 2013, at approximately 12:25 a.m., Philadelphia
Police Officers Laseter and Corn were patrolling the area of
1500 Arott Street in Philadelphia, which is near a major
train terminal and is known for a high level of narcotic
activity. Officer Laseter was also aware that there had been
several armed robberies in this area.
on patrol, the officers noticed Appellant, who was wearing a
hooded sweatshirt, had his hand in the pocket and appeared to
be carrying a heavy object in that pocket. Out of concern
that Appellant had a weapon, the officers approached
Appellant, who had sat down on a ledge. After Appellant
observed the officers coming toward him, he pulled a black
bag from his sweatshirt and placed it behind him. The bag
appeared to contain a heavy object that the officers believed
was a weapon.
the officers asked Appellant about the contents of the bag,
he gave no response and simply stared at them. Although
Appellant refused to speak with the officers, Officer Laseter
was able to look behind Appellant and see through the side of
the bag that it contained jars with red syrup. Officer
Laseter immediately recognized that the use of small,
non-prescription jars was a common narcotics packaging of
codeine syrup. The officers arrested Appellant for suspicion
of PWID. Upon a search incident to arrest, the officers
discovered Appellant was in possession of thirty-six bags of
heroin and twenty-nine bags of marijuana.
Appellant was charged with PWID, he filed a suppression
motion, which the trial court subsequently denied. On
February 19, 2015, Appellant entered a negotiated guilty plea
in which he sought to reserve the right to challenge the
trial court's denial of his suppression motion. The trial
court accepted this conditional plea. On July 17, 2015, the
trial court sentenced Appellant to 11½ to 23
months' incarceration to be followed by five years'
probation. Appellant filed this timely appeal and complied
with the trial court's direction to file a concise
statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to
Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b).
appeal, Appellant claims the trial court erred in denying his
suppression motion. As noted above, Appellant attempted to
enter a conditional plea agreement in reserving the right to
appeal the suppression order. However, it is well-established
that "[a] plea of guilty constitutes a waiver of all
nonjurisdictional defects and defenses" and "waives
the right to challenge anything but the legality of [the]
sentence and the validity of [the] plea."
Commonwealth v. Andrews, 158 A.3d 1260, 1265
(Pa.Super. 2017) (quoting Commonwealth v. Jones, 593
Pa. 295, 929 A.2d 205, 212 (2007) (citation omitted)).
our courts have not specifically addressed the validity of
conditional plea agreements, our courts have proceeded to
review the merits of issues specifically reserved in plea
agreements. See Commonwealth v. Cotto, 562 Pa. 32,
753 A.2d 217 (2000) (providing review of the appellant's
challenges to the constitutionality of the Juvenile Act,
issues which the appellant sought to reserve the right to
appeal in his plea agreement); Commonwealth v.
Zelasny, 635 A.2d 630 (Pa.Super. 1993) (reaching the
merits of the appellant's suppression challenge which he
sought to preserve in a conditional plea agreement). See
also Commonwealth v. Terreforte, 526 Pa. 448, 587 A.2d
309 (1991) (per curiam order) (remanding for the Superior
Court to review the appellant's Rule 1100 claim after the
appellant claimed that counsel was ineffective for informing
him that he could reserve this issue for appeal in his plea
agreement); Commonwealth v. Thomas, 506 A.2d 420
(Pa.Super. 1986) (allowing the appellant to withdraw his
nolo contendere plea due to his plea counsel's
misconception that the appellant could condition his plea
upon the reservation of his right to appeal the denial of his
pretrial motions). Moreover, in this case, it does not appear
that the Commonwealth objected to the propriety of this
result, we will reach the merits of Appellant's
suppression issue, as the trial court accepted
Appellant's conditional agreement reserving the right to
appeal the denial of his suppression motion. When reviewing a
trial court's denial of a suppression motion, our
standard of review is as follows:
our standard of review in addressing a challenge to a trial
court's denial of a suppression motion is limited to
determining whether the factual findings are supported by the
record and whether the legal conclusions drawn from those
facts are correct. [Commonwealth v.]
Woodard, [634 Pa. 162');">634 Pa. 162, ] 129 A.3d [480, ] 498
[(2015)]. We are bound by the suppression court's factual
findings so long as they are supported by the record; our
standard of review on questions of law is de novo.
Commonwealth v. Galvin, 603 Pa. 625, 985 A.2d 783,
795 (2009). Where, as here, the defendant is appealing the
ruling of the suppression court, we may consider only the
evidence of the Commonwealth and so much of the evidence for
the defense as remains uncontradicted. [Commonwealth
v.] Poplawski, [634 Pa. 517');">634 Pa. 517, ] 130 A.3d [697, ]
711 [(2015)]. Our scope of review of suppression rulings
includes only the suppression hearing record and excludes
evidence elicited at trial. In the Interest of L.J.,
622 Pa. 126, 79 A.3d 1073, 1085 (2013).
Commonwealth v. Yandamuri, ___ Pa. ___, 159 A.3d
503, 516 (2017).
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and
Article I, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution protect
individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Commonwealth v. Lyles, 626 Pa. 343, 350, 97 A.3d
298, 302 (2014). Search and seizure jurisprudence defines
three levels of interaction between citizens and police
officers and requires different levels of justification ...