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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. EPPS v. MYERS. (01/16/62)

January 16, 1962

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. EPPS, APPELLANT,
v.
MYERS.



Appeal, No. 401, Oct. T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1960, No. 2667, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Matthew Epps v. David N. Myers, Superintendent. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Matthew Epps, appellant, in propria persona.

Louis F. McCabe and Arlen Specter, Assistant District Attorneys, Paul M. Chalfin, First Assistant District Attorney, and James C. Crumlish, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 147]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

This is an appeal by Matthew Epps from an order of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County entered by Judge GLEESON dismissing relator's petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Appellant maintains that he was insane at the time he committed the crimes for which he is now undergoing imprisonment, and that he was denied due process.

On April 4, 1958, appellant was apprehended by the police and questioned concerning a series of aggravated robberies occurring between February 15 and April 2, 1958. Appellant became upset by the questioning and was sent to the psychiatric ward of the Philadelphia General Hospital for observation. Upon the recommendation of a lunacy commission, on June 10, 1958, he was transferred to the Farview State Hospital and remained there until November 9, 1959, when he was returned to Philadelphia authorities for trial.

He first stood trial for a pending morals charge, and was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than three months nor more than twenty-three months, to date from November 9, 1959. On February 9, 1960, he was released on parole, but was retained in custody without bail and charged with the aggravated robberies about which he was questioned on April 4, 1958. On March 17, 1960, appellant was brought to trial on these charges, and entered pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity; the commission of the acts upon which the bills of indictment were founded was admitted. Appellant was represented by counsel and waived trial by jury. On April 18, 1960, President Judge HAGAN, the trial judge, rejected his defense of insanity, found him

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 148]

    guilty, and sentenced him to imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years nor more than twenty years. No post-conviction motions were filed, and no appeal was taken. Cf. Com. v. Mays, 182 Pa. Superior Ct. 130, 126 A.2d 530.

A petition for writ of habeas corpus is not a substitute for a motion for a new trial; and habeas corpus is not a substitute for an appeal. Com. ex rel. Ruger v. Day, 176 Pa. Superior Ct. 479, 482, 108 A.2d 818; Com. ex rel. Bolish v. Banmiller, 396 Pa. 129, 151 A.2d 480; Com. ex rel. Sampson v. Banmiller, 406 Pa. 147, 176 A.2d 430. There was no denial of due process in the instant case. Appellant, with the assistance of counsel, presented to the court as a trier of the facts the issue of insanity as a defense. The trial ...


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