The opinion of the court was delivered by: BODY
The relator is presently confined in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, Pennsylvania, having been sentenced on three counts of burglary, larceny and receiving stolen goods to an aggregate term of five to twenty years
by the Court of Quarter Sessions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This Court afforded relator an independent hearing under the guidelines set forth by the United States Supreme Court in the already famous case of Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293, 83 S. Ct. 745, 9 L. Ed. 2d 770 (1963). At that hearing the relator told his version of the events surrounding his arrest, confession, and subsequent guilty pleas, after which the two arresting detectives, Mr. America Finizio and Mr. Rocco Vivarino, took the stand and contradicted his testimony in every important detail. We are satisfied beyond any doubt that the officers' version of the facts is the correct one.
At approximately 3:00 A.M. on the morning of February 11, 1961 detectives Finizio and Vivarino were patrolling the West Philadelphia area of the city when they spotted the relator and one David Gilliard standing in the vestibule of an apartment at 40th and Baring Streets. Upon questioning, the two youths explained that they wanted to visit a woman in the apartment. The detectives inquired within and soon learned that no one in the building knew either Foster or Gilliard. Relator had a screw driver in his belt and his companion was concealing a butter knife in his coat sleeve. The two were then taken to a police station at 55th and Pine Streets in Philadelphia, and after being questioned further for about one and a half hours, relator readily admitted that he wanted to "get" (burglarize) the house at which they were apprehended and that is why they were waiting in the vestibule. He also admitted having committed numerous other burglaries in that general area and proceeded to lead the detectives to an apartment at 4032 Powelton Avenue which he shared with Gilliard. The room contained a record player, sewing machine, vacuum cleaner, articles of clothing, and other items which the duo had not yet sold or otherwise disposed of.
The relator was then returned to the police station,
was given breakfast, and at daybreak he voluntarily directed the detectives on a patrol car tour to point out the various homes at which he had done "jobs" at one time or another. During this time relator freely cooperated with the police and constantly showed signs of remorse over his felonious deeds.
At one home in particular an old woman burst into tears as she recounted how her wedding ring had recently been stolen. Upon being confronted with her statement, relator explained how sorry he felt but he had unfortunately sold the ring to someone on the street. At other locations he actually demonstrated exactly how he jimmied open the doors with the aid of the butter knife and screw driver. After this tour of the neighborhood relator was again taken to the police station where he signed a written statement containing the admissions he had made earlier.
Relator admitted doing a total of thirty-five or forty "jobs" over a period of four to five months. However, he was charged with only ten counts of burglary, larceny and receiving stolen goods since the police were certain of his implication in the latter number.