Commonwealth v. Brandao, 060120 PASUP, 621 MDA 2019

Docket Nº:621 MDA 2019
Opinion Judge:STEVENS, P.J.E.
Case Date:June 01, 2020
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania




No. 621 MDA 2019

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 1, 2020


Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered March 19, 2019 In the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-22-CR-0005624-2016




Appellant Talisha R. Brandao appeals the judgment of sentence entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin Count after a jury convicted Appellant of Robbery1 and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery.2 After careful review, we affirm.

The factual background of this case was summarized as follows: At some point during the end of June [or] early July 2016, Jon Paul Young (hereinafter "the victim" []) met a woman named Josephine Kiger (hereinafter "Ms. Kiger") through a dating application. About a month later (August 2016), [the victim] and Ms. Kiger were spending a lot of time together and [the victim] moved some of his personal belongings into Ms. Kiger's home in Steelton. In addition to Ms. Kiger and [the victim], Ms. Kiger's two daughters, Zoie and Myla, - as well as her cousin, Matt, also resided at the home. At the time, Ms. Kiger was separated from her husband, John[] Kiger (hereinafter "Mr. Kiger").

Appellant and Ms. Kiger work together for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Information Technology ("IT") Department, and had known each other for approximately eight (8) years at the time of the incident. Appellant and Ms. Kiger saw each other frequently outside of work because their daughters were on the same cheerleading squad. As a result, Appellant frequently visited Ms. Kiger's home. [The victim] met Appellant at a party Ms. Kiger hosted at her home in August of 2016.

At some point after [the victim] moved some of his belongings in the home, he and Ms. Kiger had a discussion about a budget and what each person's share of the household bills would be. They agreed that [the victim] would pay $400 a month for rent. However, [the victim] never paid Ms. Kiger.

In early September of 2016, [the victim] and Ms. Kiger began fighting and during the course of the fight, Ms. Kiger mentioned several times that [the victim] owed her $400 and she would be taking him to small claims court. The fight ended when Ms. Kiger told [the victim] to pack up his belongings and leave, which he did. Over the course of the next several days, Ms. Kiger and [the victim] were fighting via text messaging. Again, Ms. Kiger stated several times that she would take [the victim] to court for the $400 that she believed he owed her.

On September 9, 2016, Ms. Kiger sent a text message to [the victim] asking that he stop by her home to discuss the future of their relationship. [The victim] drove to her home after work, arriving between 6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. [The victim] parked in the alley behind Ms. Kiger's home, as he always had, and tried to enter the back door to the residence, as he always had. However, he was surprised to find the back door locked. [The victim] went around to the front door, but it was locked as well. While walking back toward the alley, [the victim] ran into Ms. Kiger's daughter, Zoie, who went to the front door where Ms. Kiger opened it for her. Ms. Kiger greeted [the victim] warmly with a hug and invited him into the kitchen for coffee.

Approximately ten (10) minutes into their discussion, Ms. Kiger's demeanor changed. According to [the victim], "she was like, I'm about to do something now that will make sure you never fuck over another woman, and that's when she yelled 'Now.'" And then that was when [Mr. Kiger] and Appellant came out of the basement. Mr. Kiger was holding a baseball bat and screaming at [the victim, ] "how dare you steal from my family, I'll effing kill you." Ms. Kiger did not seem surprised by the ambush, and stood idly by watching. Appellant then patted [the victim] down and removed his vape box, keys, wallet, and cell phone [from his person]. [The victim] had approximately $180 in cash on him. However, Ms. Kiger was angry and said it was not enough money. Appellant and the Kigers began arguing about how they were going to get more money from [the victim]. Appellant suggested that they take [the victim] to an ATM to withdraw money.

After some discussion, the four (4) left the home and got into Ms. Kiger's Chrysler Town and Country van. Ms. Kiger was driving, [the victim] in the passenger seat, Mr. Kiger seated behind [the victim], and Appellant seated behind Ms. Kiger. Ms. Kiger drove to the Sheetz on Lindle Road in Swatara Township, and after parking, Appellant and the Kigers began arguing again about how they were going to force [the victim] into withdrawing money from the ATM. At some point during this process, [the victim] was given his wallet back and when the trio began arguing, he took the opportunity to jump out of the van and run into Sheetz. Mr. Kiger jumped out of the vehicle and chased [the victim] until he entered the store. [The victim] asked a clerk to call 911 stating that he had just been kidnapped and robbed. Ms. Kiger then came into Sheetz and told everyone that [the victim] was crazy, off his medications, and to not listen to what he is saying because he is lying. Ms. Kiger then left the store, got back into the van, and drove away.

Officer Ronald Soutner [] of the Swatara Township Police Department responded to the dispatch call. [The victim] testified that he told Officer Soutner what had happened, but felt the officer was treating him more like a criminal than a victim. According to Officer Soutner, during the interview of [the victim], it appeared as though [the victim] was more concerned about getting his stuff back. Therefore, Officer Soutner went to Ms. Kiger's residence and asked for [the victim's] possessions back. Ms. Kiger turned over [the victim's] vape box and keys, but refused to return [the victim's] phone because of the money he allegedly owed her. Officer Soutner returned to Sheetz and gave [the victim] his possessions back, minus his cell phone. [The victim] then asked for a ride back to his vehicle and Officer Soutner refused. Officer Soutner considered it to be a civil matter and closed out the call.

Once [the victim] returned to his vehicle, he was confronted again by Ms. Kiger who had her daughter Zoie in the vehicle. Ms. Kiger tried to block [the victim] in while yelling at him to get off her property. Once he returned to work, [the victim] called the Pennsylvania State Police ("PSP"), who directed him to contact the Steelton Police Department. Detective William Shaub [] of the Steelton Police Department was assigned to the case. He interviewed...

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