Commonwealthv.Capers

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIAJun 26, 2019
J-A06003-19 (Pa. Super. Ct. Jun. 26, 2019)

J-A06003-19 No. 800 MDA 2018

06-26-2019

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. ANWAR A. CAPERS Appellant


NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence January 23, 2018
In the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County
Criminal Division at No(s): CP-21-CR-0001048-2017 BEFORE: OTT, J., NICHOLS, J., and PELLEGRINI, J. MEMORANDUM BY OTT, J.:

Retired Senior Judge assigned to the Superior Court.

Anwar A. Capers appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed on January 23, 2018. On December 13, 2017, a jury found Capers guilty of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance under accomplice liability and possession of a controlled substance. The trial court sentenced Capers to serve an aggregate term of 16 to 48 months' incarceration. On appeal, Capers challenges the sufficiency and weight of the evidence. Based upon the following, we affirm.

35 P.S. §§ 780-113(a)(30), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 306, and 35 P.S. 780-113(a)(16), respectively. --------

As the parties are well acquainted with the facts and procedural history of this case, which are fully set forth in the trial court's opinion, we do not restate them. See Trial Court Opinion, 7/13/2018, at 1-7.

In his issues on appeal, Capers challenges the sufficiency of the evidence underlying his conviction for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and the weight of the evidence. For the reasons discussed below, these claims fail.

"A claim challenging the sufficiency of the evidence is a question of law." Commonwealth v. Widmer , 744 A.2d 745, 751 (Pa. 2000).

The standard we apply in reviewing the sufficiency of evidence is whether, viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the fact finder to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In applying the above test, we may not weigh the evidence and substitute its judgment for that of the fact-finder. The facts and circumstances established by the Commonwealth need not preclude every possibility of innocence. Any doubts regarding a defendant's guilt may be resolved by the fact-finder unless the evidence is so weak and inconclusive that as a matter of law no probability of fact may be drawn from the combined circumstances. The Commonwealth may sustain its burden of proving every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt by means of wholly circumstantial evidence. The entire record must be evaluated and all evidence actually received must be considered. The trier of fact while passing upon the credibility of witnesses and the weight of the evidence produced, is free to believe all, part or none of the evidence.

Commonwealth v
. Ratsamy
, 934 A.2d 1233, 1235-1236, 1237 (Pa. 2007) (citations and quotation marks omitted).

A weight of the evidence claim concedes the sufficiency of the evidence. Widmer , supra at 751. A weight claim addresses the discretion of the trial court. Id. at 752 (citation omitted). On review, the appellate court decides whether the trial court abused its discretion when ruling on the weight claim; it does not consider the underlying question of whether the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. Id. at 753. We will only find an abuse of discretion where the verdict is so contrary to the evidence as to shock one's sense of justice. Our review of a challenge to the weight of the evidence supporting the verdict is settled:

The weight of the evidence is a matter exclusively for the finder of fact, who is free to believe all, part, or none of the evidence and to determine the credibility of the witnesses. A new trial is not warranted because of a mere conflict in the testimony and must have a stronger foundation than a reassessment of the credibility of witnesses. Rather, the role of the trial judge is to determine that notwithstanding all the facts, certain facts are so clearly of greater weight that to ignore them or to give them equal weight with all the facts is to deny justice. On appeal, our purview is extremely limited and is confined to whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding that the jury verdict did not shock its conscience. Thus, appellate review of a weight claim consists of a review of the trial court's exercise of discretion, not a review of the underlying question of whether the verdict is against the weight of the evidence. An appellate court may not reverse a verdict unless it is so contrary to the evidence as to shock one's sense of justice.

Commonwealth v
. Rosser
, 135 A.3d 1077, 1090 (Pa. Super. 2016) (en banc) (citation omitted), appeal denied, 168 A.3d 1237 (Pa. 2017).

Based on our review of the record, the arguments presented by Capers, and the relevant case law and statutes, we conclude Capers' sufficiency and weight challenges warrants no relief. Furthermore, as the trial court has addressed these issues in its opinion, we adopt the trial court's thorough and well reasoned opinion as dispositive of Capers' sufficiency and weight claims and affirm on that basis. See Trial Ct. Op., at 7-16. Accordingly, no relief is due.

Judgment of sentence affirmed. We direct the parties to attach a copy of the trial court opinion in the event of further proceedings. Judgment Entered. /s/_________
Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.
Prothonotary Date: 06/26/2019

Image materials not available for display.