Appeal, No. 99, Jan. T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, Oct. T., 1957, No. 142, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Sleighter v. William J. Banmiller, Superintendent. Order affirmed.
Glenn Sleighter, appellant, in propria persona.
George C. Eppinger, District Attorney, for appellee.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN
This appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County dismissing the relator's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is the sixth proceeding*fn1 taken by the petitioner who seeks release from imprisonment
imposed following a conviction for first degree murder, from which no appeal was taken.
In 1937 the petitioner was convicted of first degree murder in the death of a six year old girl who had been a foster child in the relator's home. The Commonwealth's evidence, based mainly upon the relator's confession, disclosed that the child had died as the result of a beating with a leather strap administered to her by the relator and his wife because the child had told falsehoods about school incidents. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree and a sentence of life imprisonment was imposed. Although motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were filed, the motions were subsequently withdrawn, and no appeal was taken from the judgment of conviction. The failure to appeal in this case was perhaps unfortunate because the question whether the evidence was sufficient to have warranted the conviction of first degree murder, and whether statements made during the course of the trial to the effect that the child was sexually abused were so prejudicial as to have required the grant of a new trial, should have been determined. However, issues of trial error are not now before us. Commonwealth ex rel. Lewis v. Ashe, 335 Pa. 575, 7 A.2d 296, cert. denied, 308 U.S. 596 (1939).
On June 15, 1957, the relator filed the present petition for a writ of habeas corpus and, after the court
appointed counsel to represent relator in the matter, a full argument was held. From the denial of the petition, the relator has taken this appeal.*fn2
The writ of habeas corpus is available to obtain discharge from imprisonment resulting from a criminal proceeding in which fundamental errors were committed or constitutional rights invaded so as to have made the proceeding a nullity and rendered the trial court without jurisdiction to impose ...