from the Judgment of Sentence Entered August 30, 2018 in the
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal
Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0009492-2017
BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J.E., MURRAY, J. and STRASSBURGER, J.
Coleman (Appellant) appeals from the judgment of sentence of
14 to 28 months of incarceration to be followed by four years
of probation, imposed after he was found guilty in a bench
trial of burglary, criminal trespass, and contempt in
connection with his violating a Protection From Abuse
(PFA) order. After careful review, we vacate
Appellant's judgment of sentence and remand for
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
trial court summarized the factual and procedural history of
this case as follows.
On or about August 7, 2017, [M.H. (Complainant), ] was
granted a temporary PFA [order] against her live-in
boyfriend, Appellant. Appellant was not on the lease at [the
premises] in the city and county of Philadelphia ("the
house"), nor did he ever possess a key to the house.
Appellant evaded attempts at service, and gained entry into
the house on several occasions without a key, causing
Complainant to stay at her grandmother's house until
Appellant could be served [with the temporary PFA order].
Appellant was served with the [temporary] PFA [order] and
eviction notice on August 21, 2017[, ] when Complainant came
home and found Appellant hiding in her daughter's bedroom
closet. Complainant was present when an officer offered
Appellant an opportunity to get anything of his from inside
the house. Appellant declined the opportunity, and said,
"I don't have shit in that house. I don't want
nothing to do with her."
On August 25, 2017, Complainant made a point of locking all
of the doors and windows "because of everything that was
going on." At around 9 or 9:30 [a.m.], Complainant was
returning home and parking her car at the back of the house
after dropping her daughter off at school when she noticed
[Appellant] coming out of the house holding a bag.
Complainant testified there was no exterior sign of forced
entry, but further stated, [that] Appellant "tried to
climb through [her] window a couple of months prior and kind
of messed the fan up of [her second story] bedroom window
[….] he's Spiderman or something, he found ways to
get into this house." Complainant saw that the internet
box, which was in Appellant's name, was missing from the
house. Appellant did not have permission to be in the house
on August 25, 2017 [(August 25 Incident). It was
Appellant's position that he and Complainant discussed
this over the phone, and she was permitting him to retrieve
the internet box.]
On or about August 30, 201, Complainant went to
Appellant's new residence, at Appellant's invitation.
When Complainant arrived, she realized that Appellant's
new girlfriend … was living there as well. Complainant
was not let in, but the police were called.
Trial Court Opinion, 4/17/2019, at 1-4 (citations to notes of
testimony and footnotes omitted).
respect to the August 25 Incident, Appellant was charged with
burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and contempt
for violating the PFA order. On June 12, 2018, after a bench
trial, Appellant was found guilty of burglary, criminal
trespass, and contempt.
trial court conducted a sentencing hearing on August 23,
2018. At that hearing, it was determined that Appellant had a
prior record score of zero, and an offense gravity score of
seven, which set the sentencing guidelines at 6 to 14 months
of incarceration, plus or minus 6 months. N.T., 8/23/2018, at
4. The trial court pointed out that it had reviewed the
presentence investigation report. Id. at 5. Counsel
for Appellant told the trial court that Appellant is employed
part-time and is "finished with the relationship with
[Complainant]." Id. at 16. Appellant lives in
another city with his new girlfriend, who testified at the
sentencing hearing about the positive impact Appellant has
had on her life.
Commonwealth requested Appellant serve 6½ to 23 months
of incarceration. The trial court offered the following.
You know, the impact of the victim, this woman - I saw the
text messages…. I wanted to make sure I looked at
everything…. And the way really [sic]
tortured her, and what she had to go through, through
this…. You're a young man. You have your whole
life ahead of you. And something that I'm so happy about
is that you work…. So I'm going to give you a
sentence that's going to give you a chance to be out
sooner rather than later. It's, ultimately, going to be
up to you, and you're not going to be supervised for
But this has to be a wake up call, because this is too
serious. There are too many people that think that ...