Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Commonwealth v. Meredith

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

October 15, 2019

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
TERRY LEE MEREDITH Appellant

          Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered September 21, 2018 In the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-22-CR-0004246-2017

          BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J.E., DUBOW, J., and STEVENS [*] , P.J.E.

          OPINION

          STEVENS, P.J.E.

         Appellant Terry Lee Meredith appeals the judgment of sentence entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County after he was convicted of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI) and Strangulation. Appellant argues that the trial court erred in (1) finding a child witness competent to testify and (2) refusing to grant a mistrial based on his father's contact with one of the jurors. After careful review, we affirm.

         Appellant was charged with IDSI, Strangulation, and False

         Imprisonment in connection with the July 20, 2017 assault of Alicia Suarez ("the victim"). Before trial commenced, Appellant indicated that he wished to proceed pro se. After conducting a colloquy to assess Appellant's waiver of his right to counsel, the trial court permitted Appellant to represent himself and appointed standby counsel.

         The following factual background was developed at trial: At the time of the instant offenses, the victim and Appellant were romantically involved and lived together with the victim's two children, twelve-year old C.W. and six-year old M.S. The couple had dated in high school and had recently reconnected through social media.

         The victim recalled that, in July 2017, Appellant had become controlling and abusive. On July 20, 2017, Appellant confronted the victim with allegations that she had appeared in a pornography video. The victim claimed that Appellant repeatedly slapped her with an open palm, choked her, kicked her, verbally assaulted her, and threw her into the bedroom. The victim feared Appellant had taken her firearm as he kept reaching for his pocket.

         Thereafter, Appellant entered the bedroom and found the victim lying on her stomach. Appellant straddled the victim, pulled her pants down, spit on his penis, forced his penis into her anus, and ejaculated inside of her. Appellant continued to beat her up and then told her to take a shower. The victim saw her twelve-year-old son, C.W., watching as Appellant choked her.

         The next day, the victim told Appellant that she needed to go to the hospital as she was spitting blood. Appellant agreed, demanded that she tell hospital personnel that she fell down the stairs, and called 9-1-1 to report that the victim fell down the stairs. C.W. also told the police that the victim fell down the stairs. When the victim was out of the home and safely away from Appellant, she revealed to a female paramedic that she had been beaten, strangled, and raped.

         Responding officers and attending medical personnel testified to various physical signs that corroborated the victim's account that she had been attacked and raped. Detective Ashley Baluh noticed the victim was visibly upset and had abrasions on her face, eye, lips, and thigh. In addition, Detective Baluh noted a handprint-shaped bruise on the victim's leg that looked like a "palm and fingertips." Notes of Testimony (N.T.), 6/25/18 -6/28/18, at 145. Jodi Yocum, a registered nurse, performed a sexual assault examination and also discovered injuries to both of the victim's thighs and two small tears in the victim's rectum. N.T. at 180-83.

         C.W. was found to be a competent witness and permitted to testify at trial. C.W. indicated that at the time of the incident, he lived with his mother, younger brother, and Appellant. C.W. recalled that on that day, the victim and Appellant had a big argument about a "porn video." N.T. at 293. C.W. indicated that he saw Appellant choke the victim and put his arms around the victim's neck. On cross-examination, the defense presented the jury with a portion of the C.W.'s videotaped interview at the Children's Resource Center.[1]

         The prosecution also presented two recorded phone calls that Appellant made from prison, in one of which Appellant admitted to choking the victim.

         At the conclusion of trial, the jury convicted Appellant of IDSI and Strangulation, but acquitted him of False Imprisonment. On September 21, 2018, the trial court sentenced Appellant to an aggregate term of 13 to 26 years' imprisonment followed by three years of state supervised probation. Appellant ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.