146 A.3d 775 (Pa.Super. 2016), 1485 MDA 2015, Commonwealth v. Scott

Docket Nº:1485 MDA 2015
Citation:146 A.3d 775, 2016 PA Super 182
Opinion Judge:STEVENS, P.J.E
Party Name:COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee v. JASON DAVID SCOTT, Appellant
Attorney:Arla M. Waller, Public Defender, Carlisle, for appellant. David J. Freed, District Attorney, Carlisle, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Judge Panel:BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., PANELLA, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.[*]
Case Date:August 19, 2016
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Page 775

146 A.3d 775 (Pa.Super. 2016)

2016 PA Super 182

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee

v.

JASON DAVID SCOTT, Appellant

No. 1485 MDA 2015

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

August 19, 2016

Submitted June 20, 2016

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence August 4, 2015. In the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County. Criminal Division at No(s): CP-21-CR-0002370-2014.

Arla M. Waller, Public Defender, Carlisle, for appellant.

David J. Freed, District Attorney, Carlisle, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., PANELLA, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.[*]

OPINION

Page 776

STEVENS, P.J.E

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence entered by the Honorable Edward E. Guido of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County after Appellant Jason David Scott was convicted of burglary, criminal trespass, and criminal mischief.1 Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions and claims he is entitled to a mistrial based on comments made by the prosecutor in closing argument. After careful review, we affirm.

On January 13, 2015, at approximately 5:00 a.m., South Middleton School District officials were notified that the burglary alarm system at Rice Elementary School in Mt. Holly Springs had been activated at a time when the school was not open to the public. The school's business manager arrived on the scene and chased an intruder from the inside of the school. State troopers investigated the incident and discovered

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the teachers' lounge and several offices had been ransacked. The officers opined that the intruder attempted to access the school through the back windows as they noticed that numerous screens had been removed from exterior windows. However, the officers inferred that the intruder gained entry by damaging a locked door.

Subsequently, the troopers were able to identify Appellant as a suspect after viewing video surveillance footage that recorded images of the intruder. The images showed an intruder whose appearance resembled Appellant. After noting that one image depicted the intruder smoking a cigarette, the officers discovered a cigarette butt underneath one of the back exterior windows of the school. Subsequent testing revealed that the cigarette butt contained traces of Appellant's DNA.

Appellant was charged with the aforementioned offenses; he proceeded to a jury trial on the burglary and criminal trespass charges and a bench trial on the criminal mischief charge. Appellant was convicted of all three charges. On August 4, 2015, the trial court sentenced Appellant to an aggregate term of 21/2 to 10 years imprisonment and ordered him to pay restitution and the costs of prosecution. This timely appeal followed. Appellant complied with the trial court's direction to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b).

Appellant raises the following issues for review on appeal: I. Was the evidence sufficient to sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt if one were to preclude the highly inflammatory and prejudicial evidence introduced by the Commonwealth?

II. Did the trial court err when it denied Appellant's motion for a mistrial after the Commonwealth's closing...

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