from the Judgment of Sentence July 26, 2017 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Northampton County Criminal Division at
BEFORE: OTT, J., McLAUGHLIN, J., and STEVENS [*] , P.J.E.
Ahmed F. Gad appeals from the judgment of sentence entered in
the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County following his
conviction by a jury on the charges of simple assault and
harassment. After a careful review, we affirm.
relevant facts and procedural history are as follows:
Appellant was arrested in connection with the domestic abuse
of Eva Fisher, his wife. On March 3, 2017, the Commonwealth
filed notice of its intent to introduce evidence of prior
crimes, wrong, or acts pursuant to Pa.R.E. 404(b)(2).
Relevantly, the Commonwealth sought to introduce evidence
relating to Appellant's prior physical abuse and witness
intimidation of his former paramour, Maryam Ezatt. Appellant
filed a response in opposition to the introduction of the
evidence. On April 3, 2017, the trial court granted the
Commonwealth's request to admit the evidence pursuant to
represented by counsel, proceeded to a jury trial on June 6,
2017. At trial, the Commonwealth presented the testimony of
Police Officer Kevin Lillis, physician's assistant Monika
Garcia, and Appellant's former paramour, Ms.
Officer Lillis testified that, on September 12, 2016, Ms.
Fisher approached him requesting assistance in finding a
homeless shelter for her to stay in for the night. N.T.,
6/6/17, at 23. Officer Lillis observed Ms. Fisher had "a
contusion on the left side of her face along her cheekbone
and she had contusions also behind her ear, and her ear was
swollen. Also, around her neck as well as a swollen
lip." Id. Officer Lillis summoned an ambulance,
which transported Ms. Fisher to the emergency room for
treatment. Id. at 26. On September 17, 2016, when
the officer went to the couple's home to arrest
Appellant, Ms. Fisher answered the door. Id. at 27.
Garcia testified she treated Ms. Fisher on September 12,
2016, in the emergency room. Id. at 34. She
testified Ms. Fisher had bruising to the left side of her
face, cheek, forehead, and ear. Id. at 35. Ms.
Fisher reported she had been assaulted and slapped in the
face. Id. at 36.
Ezatt testified she used to be Appellant's paramour, and
on September 30, 2013, Appellant hit her in the face and then
intimidated her in an attempt to force her not to cooperate
with the police. Id. at 41-42. Ms. Ezatt testified
that her relationship with Appellant ended in 2015; however,
Appellant resumed contact with her in July of 2016. In the
fall of 2016, Appellant texted her, indicated he was "in
trouble, " and said he "needed her help."
Id. at 43. Ms. Ezatt testified Appellant admitted to
her that he had hit his wife and he was pressuring her to
drop the charges. Id. at 45.
testified in his own defense. Specifically, he testified that
he was not at home on September 12, 2016; but rather, he was
at work all day. Id. at 78. He specifically denied
striking his wife or telling her not to appear for court.
Id. at 79-81.
conclusion of all testimony, the jury convicted Appellant of
the offenses indicated supra, and on July 26, 2017,
the trial court sentenced Appellant to twelve months to
twenty-four months in prison for simple assault and a
consecutive forty-five days to ninety days in prison for
harassment. Appellant filed a timely motion for
reconsideration of sentence, which the trial court denied on
August 4, 2017. This timely appeal followed. All Pa.R.A.P.
1925 requirements have been met.
sets forth the following issue in his "Statement of
Questions Involved" (verbatim):
Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law in granting
the Commonwealth's Motion to Introduce Evidence of Prior
Bad Acts under Pa.R.E. 404(b) where the evidence was overly
prejudicial to [Appellant]?
Appellant's Brief at 4.
[t]he admission of evidence is solely within the discretion
of the trial court, and a trial court's evidentiary
rulings will be reversed on appeal only upon an abuse of that
discretion. An abuse of discretion will not be found based on
a mere error of judgment, but rather occurs where the court
has reached a conclusion that overrides or misapplies the
law, or where the judgment exercised is manifestly
unreasonable, or the result of partiality, prejudice, bias or
Commonwealth v. Woodard, 634 Pa. 162, 129 A.3d 480,
494 (2015) (quotation marks, quotation, and citation
general threshold for admissibility of evidence is relevance.
Evidence is relevant if it has any tendency to make a fact
more or less probable than it would be without the evidence
and the fact is of consequence to determining the action.
Pa.R.E. 401. All relevant evidence is admissible, subject to
certain exceptions. Pa.R.E. 402. Relevant to this claim,
evidence of another crime, wrong, or other act is not
admissible to prove a person's character or to show that,
on a ...