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. Shelton

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

September 7, 2017

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
TYLER PAUL SHELTON, Appellant

         Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence September 15, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of Bradford County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-08-CR-0000856-2015

          BEFORE: DUBOW, J., RANSOM, J., and STRASSBURGER, J.[*]

          OPINION

          DUBOW, J.

         Appellant, Tyler Paul Shelton, appeals from the Judgment of Sentence of an aggregate term of 75 to 360 months' incarceration imposed following his conviction by a jury of 15 counts of Corruption of Minors. Appellant challenges the court's Order granting the Commonwealth's Motion in Limine, which permitted the Commonwealth to present to the jury portions of a video recording of the victim's forensic interview.[1] After review, we affirm.

         The Commonwealth charged Appellant with 100 counts each of Rape of Child, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with Child, Aggravated Indecent Assault of Child, Indecent Assault, and Corruption of Minors, [2] 40 counts of Corruption of Minors, [3] and 10 counts of Attempted Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with Child.[4]

         The trial court held a preliminary hearing on October 16, 2015. At that hearing, the victim was unable to testify in sufficient detail to the events giving rise to the charges. Accordingly, the court dismissed the charges against Appellant.

         The Commonwealth refiled the charges, and the court held a preliminary hearing on November 10, 2015. At that time, the court dismissed all of the charges save 40 counts each of Rape of Child, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with Child, Indecent Assault, and Corruption of Minors.

         On May 26, 2016, the Commonwealth filed a Motion in Limine in which it requested permission to "use all prior recorded statements of the victim as part of the testimony" pursuant to Pa.R.E. 803.1(3) (pertaining to recorded recollections of a declarant witness), as a prior consistent statement. Mot. in Limine, 5/26/16. The trial court did not rule on the Motion prior to trial.

         Appellant's one-day jury trial commenced on June 24, 2016. The victim began testifying in the late morning. At the conclusion of the morning session of the trial, the court heard argument on the Commonwealth's Motion in Limine. Following argument and a lunch recess, the Commonwealth recalled the victim to the witness stand for additional direct examination and cross-examination, after which the court heard additional argument on the Commonwealth's Motion. The Commonwealth argued that the video recording represented a "prior recollection" that "would be more accurate" than her current recollection, that the victim testified that she "recalled it better then, " and that she had stated that if she did not currently remember the answer to a question, she would respond to it by saying "no." N.T., 6/24/16 (PM Session), at 24. Appellant's counsel objected to admission of the video recording of the victim's forensic interview, arguing that Rule 803.1(3) did not contemplate this kind of admission, that the contents of the recording are cumulative of the victim's in-court testimony, and that the victim had not testified that she lacked a present recollection of the event, and, in fact, specifically testified to "numerous events." Id. at 24-25. Ultimately, the court permitted the jury to see an approximately fifteen minute portion of the video recording of the victim's forensic interview. Id. at 25-26.

         That same day, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on 15 counts of Corruption of Minors, and acquitted Appellant of all other charges. On September 15, 2016, the court sentenced Appellant to the above term of incarceration.

         Appellant filed a timely Post-Sentence Motion in which he challenged, inter alia, the Commonwealth's use of the victim's prior recorded statement at trial. On December 18, 2016, the trial court denied Appellant's Motion.

         Appellant filed a timely appeal from his Judgment of Sentence on January 16, 2017. Both Appellant and the trial court complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.[5]

         Appellant raises one issue on appeal:

Did the trial court err in granting the Commonwealth's Motion in Limine wherein the court allowed the use of a forensic interview over timely objection from the defense with regard to Pa.R.E[.] 803.1(3) as ...

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.