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Commonwealth v. Rosario

Pennsylvania Superior Court

March 23, 2021

In Commonwealth v. Rosario, the defendant appealed his convictions of attempted murder and related charges. The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed as to the convictions but vacated the judgment of sentence. The defendant claimed that the trial court should have suppressed a gun and argued that a 16-year-old could not consent to the police’s search of the defendant’s house. The Court disagreed, ruling that the juvenile had the apparent authority to consent to the search. The Court vacated the defendant’s sentence on two grounds. First, citing Commonwealth v. King, 234 A.3d 549 (Pa. 2020), the Court ruled that the defendant could not lawfully be sentenced for attempted murder and conspiracy because there was only one criminal objective. Second, the trial court illegally sentenced the defendant to consecutive sentences for kidnapping under 18 Pa.C.S.ยง 2901(a)(2) and (a)(3). The Court held that if a defendant is proven to have more than one of the expressed intentions listed in the statute, they can be convicted under two sections of the statute. But a defendant cannot be sentenced under both when only one criminal offense, i.e., a single kidnapping, has been committed.

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