Evidence that defendant intended to induce witness not to testify insufficient to prove intimidation

Commonwealth v. Evans, 2017 PA Super 90 (April 6, 2017)

Mr. Evans, after being convicted of rape and related offenses, was tried for solicitation to intimidate (18 Pa.C.S. § 902(a); 18 Pa.C.S. § 4952(a)(6)) one of the witnesses at his trial The Commonwealth’s evidence, from a stipulated waiver trial, was that on multiple occasions he called, and during prison visits, spoke to, an acquaintance to encourage her to call the victim not to testify in exchange for money. The acquaintance also received from Mr. Evan’s family about the victim’s family and the victim’s social media account. The Superior Court deemed this evidence insufficient to convict Mr. Evans of witness intimidation. Because one cannot confer “intimidation” merely from an offer to pay someone not to testify, the Commonwealth’s evidence of intimidation fell short. The conviction was vacated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *