Com. v. Taylor

Citation352 A.2d 137,237 Pa.Super. 212
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. James D. TAYLOR, Appellant.
Decision Date01 December 1975
CourtSuperior Court of Pennsylvania

Peter T. Campana, Williamsport, for appellant.

Allen E. Ertel, Dist. Atty., G. V. Smith, Williamsport, for appellee.

Before WATKINS, President Judge, and JACOBS, HOFFMAN, CERCONE, PRICE, VAN der VOORT and SPAETH, JJ., concurring.

WATKINS, President Judge.

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Lycoming County, by the defendant-appellant, James D. Taylor, after conviction in a non-jury trial of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor; from the denial of his petition to suppress evidence, and from the denial of the post-trial motions. He had been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter also, but his motion for arrest of judgment was granted by the court below on that charge.

The first issue he raises is that his consent to a blood alcohol test was not knowingly and willingly made and the court below erred in denying his petition to suppress the evidence. The court below, following his suppession hearing before Judge Thomas C. Raup, made the following findings of fact:

'On March 9, 1974, the Defendant, James D. Taylor, was involved in a motor vehicle accident and was taken to the Jersey Shore Hospital. Officers of the Jersey Shore Police radioed to that hospital to request a blood sample be obtained from the Defendant. Upon arrival at the hospital the officers were advised by employees of the hospital that the Defendant had refused. Officer Eichenlaub asked the defendant if he would consent to a bloodalcohol test and the Defendant responded that he wanted to confer with his parents. The Defendant is 21 year old male. The hospital refused to extract blood unless there was a consent by the patient. The police officers conferred with the County District Attorney and advised the defendant that if he did not consent to a blood alcohol test that they would proceed to obtain a search warrant and take him to the Williamsport Hospital for extraction of blood pursuant to the warrant, the Jersey Shore Hospital having advised them that even with a warrant they would not permit the extraction of blood unless there was consent. The Defendant talked for approximately 10 minutes with his mother and in addition talked to a Mr. Ludwig, a friend of his, and to the doctor and a nurse with respect to the advisability of consenting to the test before agreeing to sign a written consent to submit to a blood test. Although the Defendant was indecisive initially, the Court finds that he was aware of what he was doing and of the nature and quality of his act in consenting.'

After trial, he raised this question before the trial judge Charles F. Greevy who in his opinion said:

'We have reviewed the finding of fact, conclusions of law and order filed by The Honorable Thomas C. Raup and are in agreement that the defendant's consent to the bloodalcohol test was knowingly and willingly made that the defendant's constitutional rights were not violated by the police in obtaining the blood sample.'

We are in agreement with the court below.

The appellant also contends that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the verdict. The facts presented at trial were as follows: Late in the afternoon of March 9, 1974, an automobile accident occurred near Stavertown, Pennsylvania. It was a collision between two automobiles so that both cars were disabled and ended up off the north side of old Route 22. There were no witnesses to the accident except the appellant who did not testify. Witnesses arrived at the scene immediately after the accident and testified to the location and condition of the two cars. Witnesses testified that the appellant was the only occupant of the Ford Thunderbird vehicle and the other car, the Ford Galaxie, contained the dead body of Alfred J. Brion. No one else was in either vehicle. The defendant was asked if he was all right and he replied he was. When asked if he wanted out of the car, he said, 'No, get me the fire company and the ambulance.' A few minutes later he was again asked if he wanted help out of the car he said, 'No, I will set here.' but soon he changed his mind and said, 'Help me out.' The door of the driver's...

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18 cases
  • Com. v. Walsh
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 20, 1983
    ...consents be "intelligent" and/or "knowing." Commonwealth v. Funk, supra, 254 Pa.Super. at 239, 385 A.2d at 998; Commonwealth v. Taylor, 237 Pa.Super. 212, 352 A.2d 137 (1975). Commonwealth v. Curtis, supra, 253 Pa.Super. at 170, 384 A.2d at 1284. These cases did not contest the holding of S......
  • State v. Smelter
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • January 11, 1984
    ...P.2d 765. Accord, State v. Webb, 78 Ariz. 8, 274 P.2d 338, 340 (1954); Kansas City v. Troutner, supra at 299; Commonwealth v. Taylor, 237 Pa.Super. 212, 352 A.2d 137, 139 (1975). Several courts have found defendants to be in actual physical control of vehicles whose motors were not running.......
  • City of Bremerton v. Corbett
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • August 21, 1986
    ...of it when the police arrived on the scene. See State v. Smelter, 36 Wash.App. 439, 674 P.2d 690 (1984). See also Commonwealth v. Taylor, 237 Pa.Super. 212, 352 A.2d 137 (1975); State v. Ghylin, 250 N.W.2d 252 We thus affirm the Court of Appeals decision insofar as it held that there was su......
  • State v. Stiene
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • July 26, 1985
    ...103 S.E.2d 443 (1958); State v. Schuler, 243 N.W.2d 367 (N.D.1976); Crane v. State, 461 P.2d 986 (Okla.1969); and Commonwealth v. Taylor, 237 Pa.Super. 212, 352 A.2d 137 (1975) (where "operating" was deemed established although the automobile was inoperable). See also the Annotation to Stat......
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