from the Judgment of Sentence February 1, 2017 In the Court
of Common Pleas of Northampton County Criminal Division at
BEFORE: STABILE, J., DUBOW, J., and FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.
Jeffrey Scott Knoble, Jr., appeals from the Judgment of
Sentence imposed after a jury convicted him of two counts
each of Terroristic Threats and Firearms Not to be Carried
Without a License, and one count each of First-Degree Murder,
Criminal Mischief, and Unauthorized Use of an Automobile.
Appellant challenges the court's joinder of three
separate criminal dockets for trial and the denial of his
Motion to Suppress. After careful review, we affirm.
facts and relevant procedural history, as gleaned from the
record, are as follows. On March 10, 2015, at 7:53 AM,
Octavia Douglas, Appellant's then-girlfriend, contacted
Phillipsburg Police to report that Appellant had taken her
rental car without permission. She also called
Appellant's mother, Ms. Knoble, and told her that
Appellant was going to crash the rental car. Ms. Knoble
contacted Appellant and Appellant threatened to shoot police
officers. Ms. Knoble convinced Appellant to stop driving Ms.
Douglas's car and arranged to pick him up in Easton.
Ms. Knoble arrived in Easton, Appellant left Ms.
Douglas's car running with the door open and entered Ms.
Knoble's car, laying a firearm across his lap. Appellant
told Ms. Knoble that he had shot and killed someone, and
continued to threaten to shoot police officers. Ms. Knoble
told Appellant that she would not permit him in her home and
subsequently drove him to his grandmother's house in
hours later, Pennsylvania State Police received a report of
an abandoned vehicle and discovered Ms. Douglas's rental
vehicle running and unoccupied. The vehicle had been shot
four times: three times in the driver's side front door
and one time in the driver's side passenger door.
March 11, 2015, at approximately 2:00 AM, Appellant began
communicating with Andrew "Beep" White (the
"Victim"). Because Ms. Knoble refused to let
Appellant in her house, Appellant requested to stay at the
Victim's apartment for the night, but the Victim refused.
Ultimately, the Victim agreed to rent a room for Appellant at
the Quality Inn in Easton.
that morning, Appellant again contacted Ms. Knoble and asked
her to pick him up on Northampton Street in Easton. When Ms.
Knoble arrived, Appellant entered her car and reported that
he had shot and killed someone and that "they were safe
now." Trial Ct. Op., 3/10/16, at 2. Ms. Knoble told
police that Appellant showed her a cell phone video that
depicted Appellant in a room along with the body of a nude
male surrounded by blood.
an hour later, Ms. Knoble contacted the Easton Police
Department ("EPD") to report that Appellant had
told her that he had killed someone and that, based on
Appellant's statements to her, she believed he intended
to shoot and kill police officers. The EPD began searching
for Appellant. During their search, Ms. Knoble informed
police that Appellant continued to contact her via text
messages and phone calls and repeatedly threatened to shoot
police officers. As a result of this information, when the
EPD arrested Appellant, the Commonwealth charged him with two
counts of Terroristic Threats at Docket No.
CP-48-CR-0001405-2015 ("Docket No.
the course of their search for Appellant,  EPD obtained
information that Appellant was in Ms. Knoble's Easton
home. Police converged on the home and, through negotiations,
Appellant surrendered that afternoon. Police then conducted a
protective sweep and, with Ms. Knoble's consent,
subsequently searched the home. They seized two cell phones:
the Victim's white Samsung S5 cell phone; and
Appellant's Kyocera cell phone, which he had used to
communicate with Ms.Knoble and on which he had shown her the
video of himself with the Victim's deceased body. Police
officers also seized a semi-automatic .40-caliber firearm; a
dark-colored pea coat; a cell phone charger; a backpack; a
ball cap; various clothes; and ammunition.
in the day on March 11, 2015, EPD received a call from
Priscilla High, reporting that she was concerned about her
friend, the Victim. After receiving a report that the Victim
was last seen the previous night entering the Quality Inn in
Easton, EPD officers went to the Quality Inn. The desk clerk
confirmed that the Victim had checked in to Room 418, and
provided police with a copy of the Victim's driver's
license and his room receipt. Police proceeded to Room 418
and found the Victim's naked body. An autopsy determined
the Victim had died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
The coroner ruled his death a homicide.
video from the fourth floor of the Quality Inn showed
Appellant and the Victim entering Room 418 together in the
early hours of the morning of March 11, 2015. The video also
showed Appellant leaving the room at approximately 8:00 AM
wearing the grey coat the Victim had been wearing earlier
that night. The surveillance footage shows that no one other
than Appellant entered or exited the room until the arrival
of police later that day.
upon this evidence, and the evidence indicating that the
firearm found in Ms. Knoble's home was the weapon used to
commit the homicide and to shoot Ms. Douglas's rental
car, EPD arrested Appellant pursuant to a warrant on March
18, 2015. The Commonwealth ultimately charged Appellant with
First-Degree Murder, Robbery, and two counts of Firearms Not
to be Carried Without a License at Docket No.
CP-48-CR-0001413-2015 ("Docket No.
April 13, 2015, EPD obtained a warrant to search the contents
of Appellant's cell phone. That same day, EPD Inspector
Dan Reagan provided Appellant's cell phone to Jonathan
Langton, a digital forensic analyst assigned to the Petzold
Digital Forensics Laboratory. Using forensic software,
Langton extracted data from it, identifying multiple still
images. One photo of particular note depicted the Victim
lying face down on a bed in a pool of blood with a wound on
his head. At that time, the software did not uncover
any video images on Appellant's cell phone.
24, 2015, the Commonwealth filed a Motion for Joinder of the
Informations filed at Docket No. 1 and Docket No. 2. On July
24, 2015, Appellant filed a Response to the Motion for
Joinder and an Omnibus Pretrial Motion. After a hearing, on
September 9, 2015, the court issued an Order joining Docket
No. 1 and Docket No. 2 for trial. Appellant subsequently
filed two Supplemental Pretrial Motions requesting, inter
alia, the suppression of the photographic evidence
obtained from the search of his cell phone.
September 16, 2015, the court arraigned Appellant on separate
charges of Possession of a Firearm Prohibited, Criminal
Mischief, and Unauthorized Use of an Automobile at Docket No.
CP-48-CR-0003844-2015 ("Docket No. 3") arising from
his actions on the morning of March 10, 2015.
December 15, 2015, the Commonwealth filed a Motion for
Joinder of Informations seeking to join Docket No. 3 with the
previously-joined Docket No. 1 and Docket No. 2. After a
hearing, on March 7, 2016, the trial court granted the
Commonwealth's Motion for Joinder. It denied
Appellant's Omnibus Pretrial Motions on March 10,
on December 16, 2015, Appellant requested that the
Commonwealth provide digital copies of the data retrieved
from Appellant's cell phone, in April 2015, to his
expert. The Commonwealth informed Appellant that it had
already turned over all requested materials and advised that
Appellant could arrange with Inspector Reagan to conduct
their own examinations of certain cell phones. Thus, in early
January 2016, at the request of Barry Golazeski,
Appellant's expert, Inspector Reagan asked that Langton
provide the raw data he extracted from Appellant's cell
phone to Golazeski. Langton attempted to provide Golazeski
with the raw data, but was unable to because the hard drive
where he had stored the data had crashed.
believed that the only way to comply with the request of
Appellant's expert was to re-extract the data from
Appellant's cell phone. Thus, on January 8, 2016,
Inspector Reagan took the cell phone, which had continuously
been in police custody since its seizure in March 2015, back
to the Petzold Laboratory where Langton conducted a second