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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. WALLS v. RUNDLE. (03/17/64)

March 17, 1964

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. WALLS, APPELLANT,
v.
RUNDLE.



Appeal, No. 125, Jan. T., 1964, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1963, No. 5537, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Albert H. Walls v. A. T. Rundle, Superintendent. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Albert H. Walls, appellant, in propria persona.

Julian F. King and Arlen Specter, Assistant District Attorneys, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Jr., First Assistant District Attorney, and James C. Crumlish, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

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

Author: Roberts

[ 414 Pa. Page 54]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS

On June 10, 1952, Albert Hosey Walls, petitioner-appellant, then seventeen and represented by counsel, entered a plea of guilty generally to an indictment charging him with murder. Testimony was taken before a court en banc, consisting of three judges, to determine the degree of guilt and to fix the penalty. Because the cases of co-defendants were pending, the court did not dispose of the plea until November 21, 1952. On that date, appellant was adjudged guilty of murder in the first degree, and a sentence of life imprisonment was imposed. From that judgment of sentence, no appeal was taken.

Eleven years later, on September 6, 1963, appellant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County. He urged that his constitutional rights had been violated in that he was denied equal protection of the law and was convicted and sentenced without due process. Petitioner contended (1) that he was refused representation by counsel at a preliminary hearing in Juvenile Court following an illegal detention; (2) that he was held incommunicado and was forced to give a

[ 414 Pa. Page 55]

    subsequent statement which was coerced and totally involuntary; (3) that at the time of arrest he was sixteen years of age, a "juvenile 'child'" under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court and was refused permission to see his parents; and (4) that he was "uncounseled when his case was transferred from the Juvenile Division and certified over to the Common Pleas Court of Adult Jurisdiction." The court below held appellant's allegations to be without merit and denied his petition. From that determination, this appeal followed.

We are satisfied, after careful review of both the record in the court below on the petition for habeas corpus as well as the entire transcript and record of the hearing on the plea, that the court below correctly summarized the basic factual background of the homicide.

"The record establishes conclusively that on August 10, 1951, relator went to the home of a friend, one William Sampson, where he met both Sampson and a Marshall Miller. Relator asked them to go with him to commit a robbery. The three of them entered a taxicab, with relator sitting in the front seat and the other two in the rear seat. Relator shot the driver who later died. The three fled and relator was traced through the revolver while attempting to dispose of it."*fn1

We conclude also, as did the court below, that appellant's contentions are entirely without legal validity. His plea constituted an admission of his guilt and of all the facts averred in the indictment; it constituted a waiver of all non-jurisdictional defects and defenses. U.S. v. Parker, 292 F.2d 2 (6th Cir. 1961); U.S. v. Gallagher, 183 ...


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