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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. CIAMPINI v. MARONEY (11/10/64)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: November 10, 1964.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. CIAMPINI, APPELLANT,
v.
MARONEY

Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Oct. T., 1963, No. 147, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Emery F. Ciampini v. James F. Maroney, Superintendent.

COUNSEL

Emery F. Ciampini, appellant, in propria persona.

Edward B. Doran, Assistant District Attorney, and Richard E. McCormick, District Attorney, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen.

Author: Eagen

[ 416 Pa. Page 106]

The appellant, Emery Floyd Ciampini, on February 16, 1959, was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree with sentence fixed at life imprisonment.*fn1 He was represented by court appointed counsel. A motion for a new trial was filed wherein his counsel solely urged that, under the facts established at trial, "the verdict . . . should not have been higher than second degree." On August 24, 1959, the court ordered a new trial.

On November 16, 1959, the appellant appeared in court with his counsel and pled guilty generally to the indictment. It was agreed that the adjudication could be made on the testimony offered at the trial before the jury. He was found guilty by the court of second degree murder and sentenced to the Western State Penitentiary for an indeterminate term of from 10 to 20 years. No appeal from the judgment of sentence was entered.

On October 17, 1963, the appellant filed an action in habeas corpus which the lower court dismissed without hearing. This appeal from that order followed.

[ 416 Pa. Page 107]

The only reason assigned for the issuance of the writ is that the appellant was not afforded the assistance of counsel at the preliminary hearing before the committing magistrate and at the time of the coroner's inquest, in violation of constitutional due process.

An examination of the record does not disclose the nature of the appellant's plea before the committing magistrate. From the docket entries of that officer, it appears that after hearing the testimony of the prosecuting police officer, it was concluded that a prima facie case had been made out and the accused was immediately held for court action. The record does not disclose that a coroner's inquest was held. An examination of the trial record discloses that nothing that occurred at the hearing before the committing magistrate, or at the coroner's inquest, if such were in fact held, was referred to or offered in evidence at trial or entered into the consideration of the case in any manner.

Under the circumstances, Commonwealth ex rel. Maisenhelder v. Rundle, 414 Pa. 11, 198 A.2d 565 (1964), and Commonwealth ex rel. Herge v. Rundle, 415 Pa. 36, 202 A.2d 24 (1964), are controlling.

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.


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