PROBABLE CAUSE TO SEARCH A VEHICLE INCLUDES ALL CONTAINERS INSIDE THAT VEHICLE THAT MAY CONCEAL THE OBJECT OF THE SEARCH

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Runyan, No. 1498 WDA 2016 (April 20, 2016), holding that if police possess probable cause to justify the search of a lawfully stopped vehicle, they are also justified in searching every part of that vehicle and its contents that may conceal the object of the search, […]

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“I DON’T LIKE CONFRONTATION” – Terry Bradshaw (In other Pittsburgh-related confrontation news …)

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Lawrence David Akrie, IV, 215 WDA 2016 (April 17, 2017), holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the specifics of the alleged excessive force used by the police officer or the results of the internal investigation report after Akrie […]

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PERSON NOT TO POSSESS FIREARM MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN DOING SO IN LIMITED CIRCUMSTANCES

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. David Milkos, No. 978 WDA 2016 (April 17, 2017), holding – in a matter of first impression – that although Milkos’ initial possession of the gun was justifiable self-defense, his continued control over the weapon after the initial altercation was not. Milkos was charged with homicide, […]

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MERE POSSESSION OF FIREARM BY PERSON NOT LICENSED TO DO SO IS THE “EVIL” SOUGHT TO BE REMEDIED BY THAT STATUTE

The PA Superior Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Delroy Toomer, No. 490 MDA 2016 (April 17, 2017), holding that the trial court did not commit error when it refused to dismiss Toomer’s charge of Firearms Not to be Carried Without a License as a de minims infraction. Toomer and his wife […]

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DEFENDANT GRANTED JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER CONVICTION ONLY TO HAVE IT REVERSED

The PA Superior Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Fitzpatrick, No. 1498 MDA 2015, reversing the trial court’s order granting Fitzpatrick’s post-sentence motion for judgment of acquittal and remanding the matter to the trial court with direction to reinstate the jury’s guilty verdict for First Degree Murder and the court’s original judgment of […]

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THE STATEMENT “I don’t know, just, I’m done talking. I don’t have nothing to talk about” IS SUFFICIENT TO INVOKE ONE’S RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Joshua Michael Lukach, No. 693 MDA 2016 (April 11, 2017), holding that Lukach’s statement “I don’t know, just, I’m done talking. I don’t have nothing to talk about” was a clear and unequivocal invocation of his right to remain silent, rejecting the Commonwealth’s argument that he […]

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AN ACQUITTAL PROHIBITS RE-TRIAL and A MISTRIAL DOES NOT (BARRING PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT)

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Baldwin, No. 2719 EDA 2015 (April 10, 2017), holding that (1) the Commonwealth did not commit any misconduct in eliciting a witness’s testimony and (2) the Municipal Court abused its discretion in granting Baldwin’s motion for a mistrial based on this testimony. Consequently, because the […]

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SEARCH WARRANT FAILS IF INFORMANT’S RELIABILITY IS NOT ESTABLISHED

The PA Superior Court recently decided the cases of Commonwealth v. Charles Howard Manuel No. 1048 MDA 2015 and Timothy Manuel, 1152 MDA 2015 (April 7, 2017), holding that the fact that a Confidential Informant (“CI”) previously provided information which led to a single arrest was insufficient to establish the CI’s credibility, particularly as there was […]

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WAS HE LYING? IS HE A “MAN”? (and other questions and comments prosecutors should probably avoid)

 The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Yockey, 2017 WL 1240064 (April 4, 2017), holding that the trial court committed error by (1) allowing the prosecutor to elicit testimony of one witness concerning the veracity of another witness and (2) allowing the prosecutor, in his closing argument, to suggest that Yockey should […]

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