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

seal_colorBy Burt Rose

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The Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision in the case of COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant
v. Adam Edward STEM, Appellee, 1275 WDA 2013, 2014 WL 3377450, 2014 PA Super 145 (July 11, 2014). This was an appeal from an Order of Judge John Blahovec of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Criminal Division, CP–65–CR–0004413–2012. The Panel was composed of Judges FORD ELLIOTT, BOWES and WECHT, who wrote the Opinion.
The Commonwealth was appealing the trial court’s order granting the appellee’s motion to suppress pictures that were obtained from a warrantless search of his cellular telephone, a search that was conducted incident to arrest for reasons unrelated to the cellular telephone (the images depicted child pornography). Because the United States Supreme Court recently held in Riley v. Calif., 2014 WL 2864483 (2014), that such warrantless searches violate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Superior Court affirmed the ruling of the lower court.

Gregory Lee Cecchetti, Esq. of the Westmoreland County Public Defender’s Office represented the Appellee.

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