from the Judgment of Sentence May 18, 2018 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at
BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., MCLAUGHLIN, J., and STEVENS [*] , P.J.E.
Charles Jackson, appeals from the judgment of sentence
entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County
after the court, sitting as finder of fact in Appellant's
non-jury trial, found him guilty of the single count of
terroristic threats filed against him. Sentenced to three
years' probation, Appellant contends the trial court
erred when it permitted the Commonwealth to amend the bill of
information on the morning of trial to include additional
victims whose involvement the criminal complaint had
previously described, and he raises a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence with respect to one alleged
victim. We affirm. The trial court aptly sets forth the
pertinent facts and procedural history of the case, as
Around April 27, 2017, Tracy Spruell-McMoore, [a] co-worker
of Appellant [at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services, located in Philadelphia], began receiving numerous
phone call hang-ups from a number without any caller
identification. She later began receiving voicemail messages.
At first, the voicemail messages contained music and then
later the voicemails contained music and a person singing
along to the music. Later, Ms. Spruell-McMoore began
receiving voicemail messages where the speaker said,
"Hey Marine." While she was receiving voicemail
messages, she [could not] identify the speaker's identity
because she worked from home and [had not] been at the office
in some time. Id. at 15-17.
On May 1, 2017, around 9:49 PM, Ms. Spruell-McMoore answered
the phone call from the unidentified caller. Appellant began
casually speaking to Ms. Spruell-McMoore, to which she
responded that she [did not] know who was on the other line.
Appellant asked her to guess his identity, and she refused
and stated that she would hang up unless he told her who was
calling. Appellant finally identified himself as the
unidentified caller to Ms. Spruell-McMoore and the two began
conversing about how Appellant was doing while on
administrative leave. N.T. at 18-20.
[Eventually], Appellant began ranting to Ms. Spruell-McMoore
about their co-workers. Appellant told Ms. Spruell-McMoore
that [T.R.], a co-worker that worked in a different
department than Ms. Spruell-McMoore, was a "weak ass
Marine." Ms. Spruell-McMoore was confused as to why
Appellant was bringing up [T.R.], so she asked why he was
speaking about him. Appellant just responded that
"[T.R.] is just a weak ass Marine," Marines are
"weak, not strong," and that [T.R.] was "fake
and needed to blow his nose and wore panties." N.T. at
Appellant then proceeded to complain about their manager. . .
. Appellant stated that [Manager] was "in the
closet" and that she kept bringing him into the office
to complain that his work was not up to par. Appellant
further ranted that [Manager] was a "bitch" and
that her complaints about his work were "bullshit."
After he finished his tirade about [Manager], Appellant began
commenting on another co-worker, [S.B.]. Appellant said,
"I don't want to fuck [S.B.'s] wife, I want to
fuck his mistress." Lastly, Appellant began ranting
about their co-worker [D.D.]. Appellant told Spruell-McMoore
that [D.D.] had pulled him into his office while licking his
lips and running his fingers across his lips. Appellant said
he [understood] the meaning of [D.D.'s] gestures and that
he wished he could "punch that faggot in the face."
N.T. at 23.
At some point during Ms. Spruell-McMoore's conversation
with Appellant, Appellant said, "They don't know who
they're messing with; I'm going to show them."
Ms. Spreull-McMoore asked Appellant what he was talking
about, to which he responded, "I'm going to show
them I'm not the one. I see the light and not no house
light or ceiling light, I see the real light. Soon,
they'll see the light."
Ms. Spruell-McMoore proceeded to ask Appellant again, what he
was talking about. Appellant then started talking about how
their co-workers "messed with the wrong [n-word]."
Ms. Spreull-McMoore told Appellant not to say these things to
her, to which he responded, "We cool; I'm not
talking about you. I'm not threatening you." Ms.
Spruell-McMoore responded that she [was not] concerned about
her own well-being, she was concerned about their co-workers
since she considered some of them her friends. N.T. at 23-24.
Later during their conversation, Appellant said that he would
"pop a cap in their ass" and repeatedly said that
he would "peel back their scalp" throughout the
conversation with Ms. Spruell-McMoore. Ms. Spruell-McMoore
took these threats very seriously and told Appellant that it
is against the law for federal employees to threaten a fellow
employee or anyone else. She was very upset by the phone call
and prior to the call, she had considered Appellant a friend
of hers. Ms. Spruell-McMoore tried to get more information
about Appellant's plans regarding their co-workers, to
which he replied, "Don't worry about it, you will
read about it on the news. Don't worry about it, it
don't have nothing to do with you, we cool. Those
motherfuckers RO3s [Regional Officer 3s], but not you."
N.T. at 24-25.
Ms. Spruell-McMoore became increasingly upset by this
conversation and told Appellant he [could not] be saying he
was going to hurt people at their job. She asked him why he
wanted to hurt their co-workers, and he responded, "They
messed with the wrong [n-word] and I want to show them.
You'll read about it in the news and you'll see it on
the news real soon. They're all working from home, but
that won't last forever." Appellant almost
constantly made these threats throughout their entire
conversation, which lasted almost an hour. N.T. At 25-28.
After Ms. Spruell-McMoore's phone call with Appellant
ended, she immediately called [Manager] and told her that she
had received a phone call from Appellant and that Appellant
had threatened [Manager] and their co-workers. Ms.
Spruell-McMoore also warned [Manager] to be on the lookout
since the threats had deeply disturbed her, along with the
fact that he knew their coworkers were currently working from
home. [Manager] advised Ms. Spruell-McMoore to contact
Criminal Protective Service and call the local police and
that [Manager] would report it to management and leadership
in the office. N.T. at 30, 46.
At some point, [D.D.] and [S.B.] learned of the threats
conveyed by Appellant directed towards them and [Manager].
Both [D.D.] and [S.B.] took the threats seriously and were
upset and disconcerted by them. N.T. at 55-56, 65-66. [Both
testified that they, too, had received numerous voicemail
messages from an unidentified number consisting of no
speaking, only music playing, and coughing, just as
Spruell-McMoore had described. S.B. described how, in April,
the caller spoke profanely to his wife and threatened S.B.
that he was coming for him. Manager also received numerous
phone calls and voice messages consisting of coughing and
indistinct words. N.T. at 44-45.]
On May 1, 2017, around 11 PM, Detective Jared Fitzgerald, a
criminal investigator for the Department of Homeland
Security, received a phone call from the Philadelphia
Dispatch Center. The Dispatch Center told him that Ms.
Spruell-McMoore had called and relayed the threats Appellant
had made over the phone regarding her co-workers. Detective
Fitzgerald reached out to Ms. Spruell-McMoore and [Manager]
the following morning and Ms. Spruell-McMoore provided him
with Appellant's phone number .... Detective Fitzgerald
called Appellant under the guise that he was with the
wrongful termination board and set up a time to meet with him
at a library. N.T. at 68-71.
Once Appellant arrived at the meeting place, Detective
Fitzgerald told him he was from Homeland Security Federal
Protection Service and began questioning Appellant about the
phone calls. Appellant admitted he had spoken to Ms.
Spruell-McMoore and that he had made the phone calls to his
co-workers. Appellant claimed that [Manager] was out to get
him, he admitted that he had left a voicemail message for
[D.D.] calling him a "faggot," and that he had
called [S.B.] and told him he "wasn't going to fuck
his mistress, he was going to fuck his wife." Appellant
further indicated that Ms. Spruell-McMoore's recitation
of their conversation was accurate. N.T. at 73-75.
On August 7, 2017, a preliminary hearing was conducted for
Appellant. [The Bill of Information filed against him listed
a single charge of terroristic threats under Pa.C.S. §
2706(a)(1) and a single complainant, Ms. Spruell-McMoore. The
accompanying criminal complaint, however described all the
above-listed employees and the phone calls they received]. At
that time, Appellant was held on one charge of terroristic
[On the morning when trial was to commence, the Commonwealth
moved to amend the information to add the employees listed in
the criminal complaint as additional complainants. The
Commonwealth emphasized it was not adding charges. Pursuant
to Commonwealth v. Sinclair, 897 A.2d 1218, 1221
(Pa. Super. 2006), infra, the court granted the
motion over Appellant's objection, and trial commenced
thereafter. N.T. at 10-12.]
Following a [non-jury] trial before [the trial court] on
March 9, 2018, Appellant was convicted of terroristic threats
with the intent to terrorize another, graded as a misdemeanor
in the first degree. [On May 18, 2018, the trial
court sentenced Appellant to three years' probation.].
Appellant filed [this] timely appeal . .
Trial Court Opinion, 11/2/18, at 3-6, 1-2, 7.
raises the following issues ...