A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

Pennsylvania Flag

By Burt Rose

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The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has decided the appeal of COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Leroy BRADLEY, Appellant, No. 3051 EDA 2011, 2013 WL 1801994, 2013 PA Super 98 (April 30, 2013). This was an appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, CP–51–CR–0001271–2010. The case was before Judges STEVENS, BOWES and FITZGERALD. PJ Stevens wrote the Opinion.

The Appellant, Leroy Bradley, challenged a judgment of sentence entered by Judge Denis Cohen of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County following a conviction for aggravated assault, 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(1), and endangering the welfare of a child, 18 Pa.C.S. § 4304. Bradley beat his six-year-old daughter with a belt and a hanger, choked her, and broke her arm. Bradley appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to support his convictions.

In his Brief, Bradley asked the Superior Court to determine if he was entitled to an arrest of judgment with regard to his conviction for aggravated assault because “the Commonwealth did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and where the appellant’s conviction was based on speculation and conjecture” in that Bradley’s use of force in breaking his daughter’s arm was justified pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 509 (re use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others).

However, in Bradley’s Rule 1925(b) Statement, Bradley said that he would be raising the following ground: “The defendant is entitled to an arrest of judgment with regard to his conviction for aggravated assault in that the Commonwealth did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. The defendant’s conviction was based on speculation and conjecture.” There was no mention of the Section 509 argument.

Although Rule 1925(b) indicates that each error identified in the Statement will be deemed to include every subsidiary issue contained therein which was raised in the trial court, it also directs that issues not included in the Statement and/or not raised in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph (b)(4) are waived. In the matter at hand, Judge Stevens concluded that the error identified in Bradley’s Rule 1925(b) Statement was not in his appellate brief and therefore was deemed waived for purposes of appeal.

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