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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. ALLEN v. CLAUDY (03/18/52)

March 18, 1952

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. ALLEN
v.
CLAUDY, WARDEN



COUNSEL

James W. Allen, in pro per.

L. Alexander Sculco, Dist. Atty., New Kensington, John K. Best, Asst. Dist. Atty., Greensburg, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 500]

RHODES, President Judge.

This is an appeal by relator from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County dismissing his petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Relator is confined in the Western State Penitentiary under sentence imposed January 21, 1949, at No. 220, February Term, 1949, in the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Westmoreland County. He waived presentment of bill of indictment to the grand jury and entered a plea of guilty to a bill drawn under the Act of April 15, 1907, P.L. 62, as amended, 19 P.S. ยง 241. The district attorney's bill to the above number and term charged relator with burglary, larceny, and receiving stolen goods. The waiver and plea were endorsed on the indictment and signed by the relator on January 21, 1949.

On July 28, 1951, relator filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County to No. 469, August Term, 1951.*fn1

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 501]

Answers were filed by the warden and the district attorney. On August 16, 1951, that court by its order dismissed the petition and filed an opinion. No appeal was taken from such order.

In his petition of July 28, 1951, relator contended: (1) That he had been arrested without a warrant, held incommunicado, questioned, coerced, and transferred from jail to jail before finally being committed to the Westmoreland County jail; (2) that he was not formally arraigned and was denied counsel until a guilty plea was acquired; (3) that the date of the alleged offense as set forth in the indictment was changed from on and about the 12th day of January, 1949, to one and about the 11th day of January, 1949, without his knowledge and consent, thereby invalidating said indictment.

In its opinion the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County considered these contentions at length and found them lacking in merit. We deem it unnecessary to enter into any extended discussions of the police procedure subsequent to relator's arrest, which is set forth in detail and explained in the lower court's opinion. See Com. ex rel. Allen v. Claudy, 33 West. 355. We note, however, that counsel had been appointed for the relator prior to his entry of a guilty plea. The lower court states that such counsel was directed to ascertain whether relator was fully advised and understood his action in entering a plea of guilty, ...


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