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Commonwealth v. Reed

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

August 5, 2019


          Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered July 12, 2018 In the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-42-CR-0000200-2017

          BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., NICHOLS, J., and COLINS, J. [*]


          NICHOLS, J.

         Appellant Shayne William Reed appeals from the judgment of sentence entered after a jury found him guilty of burglary, criminal trespass, conspiracy of theft by unlawful taking, and conspiracy of receiving stolen property.[1]Appellant challenges the sufficiency of evidence. We affirm.

         The relevant facts and procedural history of this case are as follows. Theresa Skillman, the property owner of 65 Summer Street, rented the upstairs apartment at this address to Appellant and Appellant's girlfriend, Amber Harris. N.T., 5/23/18, at 31, 53. The property consisted of a house divided into two apartments (an upstairs apartment and a downstairs apartment), a basement, and two outdoor sheds situated on off-street parking next to the house. Id. at 32.

         Mike Holden, the former tenant of Appellant's upstairs apartment, stored his property in the smaller of the two sheds. Id. at 42. Skillman's father and brother kept property in the other larger brown shed. Id. at 41. The larger shed was roughly twelve feet by sixteen feet and had "a big garage door on it, [a] little man door, [and a] couple [of] windows." Id. at 74. The shed was secured so that "all the windows were locked, the man door was screwed shut to where you couldn't open it from the outside, and the garage door had a lock and key." Id. at 75. When a new tenant would move in, Skillman would inform the tenant not to touch the larger shed and to use the basement for storage. Id. at 32. Katelyn King, the tenant in the downstairs apartment, testified that tenants were not supposed to use or go into either shed. Id. at 58.

         On or about February 8, 2017, Katelyn King testified that she saw Appellant and his female roommate "messing around" inside the larger shed at 2:00 a.m.[2] Id. at 59-61. Marcia Copeland, who lived across the street at 70 Summer Street, also witnessed Appellant and a female individual in the shed.[3] Id. at 66. Copeland approached the individuals and told them, "[Y]ou are not to be in that area." Id. Appellant and the female responded, "We have permission to be in here [from Holden]." Id. Copeland told them, "No, you do not have permission from him. . . . Not to mention, that's not [his shed]." Id. Appellant and the female individual left, but a couple hours later, Copeland saw them in the shed again. Id. at 68.

         Both Katelyn King and Holden notified Skillman that there were people inside of the shed where her father's property was stored.[4] Id. at 35, 38. Based on this information, Skillman called the Bradford City Police and spoke with Officer Kolin Strawcutter.[5] Id. at 39. Skillman told Officer Strawcutter that she believed her rental property had been burglarized. Id. at 40. Skillman also informed Officer Strawcutter that while she currently resided in Marienville, her brother, Edward Panighetti, Jr., lived closer to the rental property and that she could contact him about the shed. Id.

         After Skillman's initial conversation with Officer Strawcutter, Skillman sent a text message to Panighetti. Upon receiving the text message, Panighetti went to check the property by himself. Id. at 40, 76. Panighetti had last visited the shed less than a week before. Id. at 76. Following Panighetti's visit, Skillman also went by herself to check on the shed. Officer Strawcutter called Skillman and Panighetti after their respective visits to the shed.[6] Both Skillman and Panighetti told Officer Strawcutter that the handle and the lock on the shed were broken and there was a new, unfamiliar padlock on the right-hand side of the shed. Id. They also reported that a truck tire and window previously inside the shed were now sitting outside the shed. Id. at 76, 97.

         Officer Strawcutter, Skillman, and Panighetti all visited the shed together to examine the damage at some later date. Id. at 40, 76. Accompanied by Officer Strawcutter, Panighetti, and Skillman entered the shed for the first time after the padlock was changed. Id. at 76. Skillman testified that upon entering the shed, it was clear that "there was obviously a lot less stuff in it than had started." Id. at 41. Panighetti testified that "[a] lot of the power tools, a tree stand, and some clothing previously stored inside were missing." Id. at 77. Panighetti listed twenty-six items that he had stored inside the shed himself, but were missing when he saw the shed with Officer Strawcutter and Skillman. Id. at 87-88. These items included various power tools for construction and gardening. Id.

         Skillman located some of the items missing from the shed on a Facebook garage sale page in which Robert King, a junk dealer, was offering these items for sale. Id. at 98. Skillman informed Officer Strawcutter of Robert King and the Facebook page. Officer Strawcutter subsequently contacted Robert King, who told Officer Strawcutter that "he was actually on his way to the police station because he heard that the items he had bought from a Amber Harris were stolen and not her property." Id.

         During the course of his investigation, Officer Strawcutter also spoke with Richard Keaton, who had purchased speakers from Harris through Facebook. Id. at 91, 92. When Keaton went to Summer Street to pick up the speakers, he saw Harris "in the shed trying to move stuff around to get [the speakers] out." Id. at 92. After the purchase, Keaton heard from a friend that the speakers were stolen. Id. Keaton contacted Officer Strawcutter, who came to retrieve the speakers. Id.

         On February 14, 2017, Officer Strawcutter filed charges and arrested Appellant. Id. at 99-100. The Commonwealth filed an information charging him with one count of burglary, one count of criminal trespass, and three counts of criminal conspiracy. The Commonwealth's information alleged that these crimes occurred between February 9 and February 11 of 2017.

         On May 23, 2018, a jury convicted Appellant. On July 12, 2018, the trial court sentenced Appellant to ten days' to twelve months' incarceration, followed by twelve months' probation. Appellant timely filed a post-sentence motion on July 23, 2018, which he withdrew on August 6, 2018.

         Appellant timely filed a notice of appeal on August 13, 2018. Appellant also timely filed a court-ordered Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) statement on September 5, 2018, challenging the sufficiency of evidence on all counts. The trial court filed a responsive Rule 1925(a) opinion and concluded that Appellant was not entitled to relief.

         Appellant now raises the following questions for this Court's review:

1. Whether the evidence was sufficient to establish that the "shed" located at 65 Summer Street is a "building" or "occupied structure" under 18 Pa.C.S. ยง3502(a)(4), Burglary, and under 18 Pa.C.S. ...

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