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Commonwealth v. Munson

Pennsylvania Superior Court

August 13, 2021

The issue in this appeal was whether the evidence established a prima facie case for aggravated cruelty to animals-torture and criminal conspiracy. After a preliminary hearing, the municipal court judge dismissed the charges, stating there was a lack of evidence tying the defendant and his co-defendants to their respective charges. The Commonwealth refiled, and the Court of Common Pleas conducted a second prelim. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court affirmed the dismissal of the charges. The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed. The Court held that the trial court’s “narrow view of the evidentiary record erroneously ignored a plethora of facts and testimony.” Moreover, the trial court erred in failing to view the evidence in a light most favorable to the Commonwealth or making all reasonable inferences in its favor.

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