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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. CRAIG v. BANMILLER. (04/16/63)

April 16, 1963

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. CRAIG, APPELLANT,
v.
BANMILLER.



Appeal, No. 182, Jan. T., 1963, from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1962, No. 87, affirming order of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Sept. T., 1961, No. 16, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Harry Craig v. William J. Banmiller, Warden. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Harry Craig, appellant, in propria persona, submitted a brief.

John R. Graham, Assistant District Attorney, Ralph B. D'Iorio, First Assistant District Attorney, and Jacques H. Fox, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 410 Pa. Page 585]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

In 1931, Harry Craig, Frank Cox and Henry Hedinger were arrested and later indicted in Delaware County on charges of robbery with offensive weapon and other criminal offenses arising out of two separate robberies. All three defendants entered pleas of guilty before the late Honorable ALBERT D. MCDATE, Judge of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County. Judge MCDADE imposed sentences on these indictments which charged robbery with offensive weapon;*fn1 Craig

[ 410 Pa. Page 586]

    to pay a fine of $500 and costs and to serve imprisonment in the Eastern State Penitentiary for a minimum of ten years and a maximum of twenty years on each of the robbery charges, the sentences to run consecutively; Cox and Hedinger to pay fines of $500 and costs and to serve imprisonment in the Delaware County jail for a minimum term of five years and a maximum term of twenty years on each of the robbery charges, the sentences to run concurrently. At the time of trial and sentences both Cox and Hedinger were represented by counsel but Craig was not so represented.

The court paroled Cox on July 15, 1932 and Hedinger on December 15, 1932 but Craig was not paroled until July 31, 1953, having then served approximately twenty-one years.*fn2 After being paroled, Craig went to New Jersey where he was arrested on or about December 19, 1954 on the charge of breaking and entry and attempted larceny of a safe; upon being found guilty of this charge, he was sentenced on April 15, 1955 to serve an imprisonment for a minimum of ten years and a maximum of fourteen years in the Trenton State Penitentiary and he was finally paroled on September 13, 1960 since which time he has been confined in the Eastern State Penitentiary as a parole violator.

On September 18, 1961, Craig filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County claiming that he was being illegally detained in violation of his constitutional rights because: (a) the indictments under which sentences had been imposed had not been signed by the District Attorney; (b) that the indictments do not disclose that he had ever entered pleas of guilty to the offenses charged; (c) that he was not indicted by the ground

[ 410 Pa. Page 587]

    jury nor did he waive such indictments; (d) that he was refused the appointment and assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County remanded Craig to the Eastern State Penitentiary to comply with the balance of the terms of his sentences. From that order an appeal was taken to the ...


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