Commonwealth v. Brown, 052920 PASUP, 2091 MDA 2019

Docket Nº:2091 MDA 2019
Opinion Judge:MURRAY, J.
Party Name:COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. NIARE LAMAR BROWN Appellant
Judge Panel:BEFORE: OLSON, J., MURRAY, J., and COLINS, J.
Case Date:May 29, 2020
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

v.

NIARE LAMAR BROWN Appellant

No. 2091 MDA 2019

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 29, 2020

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered December 5, 2019 In the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-41-CR-0001017-2018

BEFORE: OLSON, J., MURRAY, J., and COLINS, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

MURRAY, J.

Niare Lamar Brown (Appellant) appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after the trial court convicted him of burglary, criminal trespass, resisting arrest, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.[1]Appellant claims that the Commonwealth violated his speedy trial rights under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 600. We affirm.

On June 10, 2018, Appellant broke into an apartment in Williamsport and stole a wallet and video game console. The victim, upon seeing Appellant - who was a stranger in her residence - confronted Appellant, who fled on foot. The victim called the police and gave a description of Appellant. A police officer arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and saw an individual matching the victim's description standing nearby in an alley. Appellant ran when he saw the uniformed officer, who gave chase and tackled Appellant to the ground. Appellant resisted the officer's attempts to place him in handcuffs.

On June 11, 2018, the Commonwealth filed a criminal complaint charging Appellant with the above crimes. Appellant's arraignment took place on June 23, 2018. Appellant pled not guilty, and the trial court placed the case on the September 11, 2018 pretrial list, with call of the list scheduled for September 25, 2018. However, as discussed below, the case remained on the trial list for approximately one year.

Appellant's case was eventually placed on the backup list, with call of the list scheduled to occur on April 29, 2019. Appellant's case was chosen for jury selection on May 1, 2019. On that date, however, Appellant's counsel was ill and unavailable.2 3 Thus, the case was placed on the next call of the list, with jury selection scheduled for the next trial term, beginning on August 13, 2019.

On August 12, 2019, Appellant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 600. The trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the motion on August 28, 2019, at which the Deputy Court Administrator for Lycoming County testified. The trial court denied Appellant's motion by an opinion and order entered September 25, 2019.

The matter proceeded to a non-jury trial on September 27, 2019, at the close of which the trial court found Appellant guilty of all counts. On December 5, 2019, the court sentenced Appellant to an aggregate 3 to 6 years in prison. He filed a timely notice of appeal, followed by a court-ordered Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b) concise statement.

Appellant presents one question for our review: Did the lower court abuse its discretion in denying Appellant's Rule 600 motion to dismiss when the Commonwealth did not bring Appellant to trial within 365 days of the complaint and failed to prove it acted with due diligence in the face of avoidable delay?

Appellant's Brief at 4 (capitalization omitted). Our standard of review is as follows:

This Court reviews a ruling under Rule 600 pursuant to an abuse-of-discretion standard. An abuse of discretion is not a mere error in judgment but, rather, involves bias, ill will, partiality, prejudice, manifest unreasonableness, or misapplication of law. Additionally, when considering a Rule 600 claim, this Court must view the record facts in the light most favorable to the winner of the Rule 600 motion. It is, of...

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