Commonwealth v. Gross

In this en banc, the panel confronted a defendant who helped supply a firearm to her boyfriend, who eventually used that firearm to kill a police officer in a shootout. The boyfriend was killed in the gunfire. While her state case weaved its way through the courts, she was charged — and eventually pled guilty — in federal court. In federal court, she pled guilty to making false statements on an ATF form made during her purchase of the gun. She sought to dismiss her state-level conspiracy charge based on double jeopardy grounds. The majority and dissenters disagreed on appellate jurisdiction, with the majority holding that, because the trial court did not expressly make note of whether the claim was frivolous, the court had appellate jurisdiction as a collateral order under Pa.R.A.P. 313. The dissenters disagreed with that assessment. As to the substance, the majority found that the false-statements plea in federal court did not address the same concerns as the state-level conspiracy charge, so double jeopardy provided to relief to the defendant.


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