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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. SCASSERRA v. MARONEY. (07/21/55)

July 21, 1955

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. SCASSERRA, APPELLANT,
v.
MARONEY.



Appeal, No. 51, March T., 1955, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, June T., 1954, No. 958, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Philip Scasserra v. Captain James F. Maroney, Acting Warden, Western State Penitentiary. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Philip Scasserra, appellant, in propria persona, submitted a brief.

H. F. Dowling, District Attorney, with him Richard D. Walker, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 152]

OPINION BY ROSS, J.

This is an appeal from the dismissal by the Dauphin County Court of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which was based upon an alleged violation of relator-appellant's constitutional right of due process in that he received no preliminary hearing before a magistrate prior to his indictment.

Appellant was sentenced to a term of not more than four nor less than two years in the Eastern State Penitentiary for a burglary of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg. This sentence, imposed by the Dauphin County Court, was to be computed from the expiration of a sentence which he was serving in Allegheny County, and it is this Dauphin County sentence which is here attacked.

It appears that appellant removed a number of automobile certificates of title from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office. He and an accomplice then located the vehicles and proceeded to steal and sell them by using forged registrations and assignment of titles. In July 1951 the New York police apprehended him.

While in custody he gave a detailed written confession of his operations in Pennsylvania, including the burglary for which he was sentenced. He waived extradition and returned to Pennsylvania. At Harrisburg he re-enacted the burglary of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and was then removed to Allegheny County, where he was convicted and sentenced for one of the auto thefts. Meanwhile a member of the Pennsylvania State Police swore to an information charging appellant with the burglary at Harrisburg and a warrant issued. The grand jury of Dauphin County indicted appellant and on August 4, 1952, in the company of his attorney, he entered his plea of guilty, and

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 153]

    so indorsed the indictment. He was then sentenced by the court.

Two years later, on August 13, 1954, he filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus, setting up the alleged procedural irregularity in the process of his indictment, conviction and sentence. He contends that his constitutional right to due process of law was violated by reason of the fact that he was indicted without having first been given a preliminary hearing by the magistrate in Harrisburg before whom the ...


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