from the Judgment of Sentence August 11, 2016 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at
BEFORE: PANELLA, J., DUBOW, J., and FITZGERALD, J. [*]
Darren L. Felder, appeals from the Judgment of Sentence
entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County
following his conviction for Criminal Contempt for Violation of
Protection from Abuse Order. After careful review, we affirm.
Felder, Appellant's wife, obtained a Final Protection
from Abuse Order ("PFA Order") against Appellant,
which is effective from December 19, 2014 through December
18, 2017. The PFA Order states that Appellant shall not
abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten Ms. Felder but does not
limit other contact between Appellant and Ms. Felder. After
obtaining the PFA Order, Ms. Felder continued to live with
Appellant, and both of them resided with a roommate, Joyce
November 7, 2015, at approximately 6:00 A.M., Ms. Brown and
Appellant were inside the home when Ms. Brown smelled smoke
and contacted Ms. Felder, who was not home at the time. Ms.
Felder immediately reported the smoke to the fire department
and returned home. When the fire department arrived at the
home, Appellant refused their services. Appellant also
refused to allow Ms. Felder to enter the home. According to
Ms. Felder, "I went to reach in - my screen door
don't have a bottom. It don't have a bottom glass or
screen. So I tried to reach in to unlock the door and as
I'm unlocking the door he grabs my fingers, the three
fingers and he twists my fingers to lock the door. So that
went back and forth for several minutes until it started
getting numb and I snatched my hand from under there. And I
walked down the steps and I called 911." (N.T. Hearing,
8/11/16, at 22-23). Ms. Felder's thumb, pointer finger,
and middle finger were red, swollen, and numb for a few days
following the incident and she self-treated by immersing her
fingers in ice a few times a day. Ms. Brown witnessed the
incident between Appellant and Ms. Felder, she observed
Appellant standing in the doorway and saw Ms. Felder stumble
back from the door. Ms. Brown noticed Ms. Felder shaking and
holding her hand after the confrontation.
August 11, 2016, after a bench trial, the trial court
convicted Appellant of Criminal Contempt for Violation of a
PFA Order and subsequently sentenced Appellant to a term of
six months' reporting probation.
timely appealed. On October 11, 2016, the trial court ordered
Appellant to file a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) Statement of Errors
Complained of on Appeal ("1925(b) Statement") and
Appellant failed to comply. On November 16, 2016, Appellant
filed an Application for Remand with this Court requesting an
opportunity to file a 1925(b) Statement nunc pro
tunc. On December 12, 2016, this Court granted
Appellant's Application for Remand and ordered Appellant
to file a 1925(b) Statement. Both Appellant and the trial
court complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
Appellant raises the following issues on appeal:
1. Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law in
finding Appellant guilty of violating a non-eviction, [PFA]
Order, where there was insufficient evidence of intent to do
2. Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law in
finding Appellant guilty of violating an abuse/protection
only [PFA] Order (23 Pa.C.S. [§ 6114(a)]) where the
evidence was insufficient to establish a violation of the
terms of the Order?
Appellant's Brief at 3 (some capitalization omitted).
of his issues, Appellant avers that the evidence was
insufficient to prove Criminal Contempt for Violation of a
Protection from Abuse Order. See Appellant's
Brief at 3. We review a contempt conviction for an abuse of
discretion. Commonwealth v. Haigh, 874 A.2d 1174,
1177 (Pa. Super. 2005). We rely on the discretion of the
trial court judge and are confined to a determination of
whether the facts support the trial court's decision.
Id. at 1176-77. In reviewing whether the evidence
was sufficient to support the conviction, "we must
determine whether the evidence admitted at trial, and all
reasonable inferences drawn from that evidence, when viewed
in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as verdict
winner, was sufficient to enable the fact finder to conclude
that the Commonwealth established all of the elements of the
offense beyond a reasonable doubt." Commonwealth v.
Taylor, 137 A.3d 611, 614 (Pa. Super. 2016) (en
banc) (citation and quotation omitted). In applying the
above test, "we may not weigh the evidence and
substitute our judgment for the fact-finder."
Commonwealth v. Brumbaugh, 932 A.2d 108, 109 (Pa.
Super. Ct. 2007) (citation and quotation omitted). Finally,
"the trier 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." Id.
Court has repeatedly stated that "[t]he purpose of the
PFA Act is to protect victims of domestic violence from those
who perpetrate such abuse, with the primary goal of advance
prevention of physical and sexual abuse."
Commonwealth v. Lambert, 147 A.3d 1221, 1226 (Pa.
Super. 2016) (citation and quotation omitted). "Where a
PFA order is involved, an indirect criminal contempt charge
is designed to seek punishment for violation of the
protective order." Commonwealth v. Jackson, 10
A.3d 341, 346 (Pa. Super. 2010) (citation and quotation
omitted). A charge of indirect ...