Commonwealth v. Lites

Lites appealed his sentence, arguing the trial court’s mandatory minimum sentence, which the court imposed as a “second strike,” was illegal. The Superior Court compare the PA burglary statute of 1994—Lites’s alleged first strike—with the current PA burglary statute—Lites’s second strike. The Court determined that the current burglary statute includes an element the former statute did not. Therefore, at Lites’s sentencing, the Commonwealth failed to establish that Appellant’s 1994 burglary conviction was a crime of violence as defined by the current mandatory minimum statute. Accordingly, the Court vacated Lites’s sentence.