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COMMONWEALTH v. GARRETT (09/27/66)

decided: September 27, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GARRETT, APPELLANT



Appeals from orders of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1965, Nos. 458, 459, 460, 461 and 462, affirming judgments of sentence of Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County, June T., 1955, Nos. 181, 182, 183, 184 and 185, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Howard Garrett.

COUNSEL

Howard Garrett, appellant, in propria persona.

Vram Nedurian, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Paul R. Sand, First Assistant District Attorney, and Jacques H. Fox, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 423 Pa. Page 9]

In 1955, appellant, Howard Garrett, appearing without counsel, entered pleas of guilty in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County to bills of indictment Nos. 183-185, June Sessions, 1955. Nos. 183 and 184 charged appellant with burglary and No. 185 with an unrelated robbery. Upon application of the Commonwealth, the court ordered two other indictments, Nos. 181 and 182, June Sessions, 1955, nolle prossed. Appellant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3 to 10 years on No. 185, the robbery bill; sentence was suspended on Nos. 183 and 184.

Subsequently, in 1965, appellant attacked the validity of his guilty pleas, by habeas corpus, contending that he had been denied his constitutional right to the

[ 423 Pa. Page 10]

    assistance of counsel at the plea proceedings. His challenge was sustained and the 1955 convictions set aside.

Thereafter, in March 1965, appellant was again brought to trial and convicted by a jury of the offenses charged in the 1955 indictments, including those charged in Nos. 181 and 182, the indictments previously nolle prossed.*fn1 Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment of 3 1/2 to 7 years on Nos. 181 and 185; sentence was suspended on the remaining bills, Nos. 182-184.*fn2

On appeal the Superior Court affirmed the convictions and sentences imposed.*fn3 We allowed appellant's petition for allocatur to consider the claims asserted.

[ 423 Pa. Page 11]

Appellant's first assignment of error relates to the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain his conviction of robbery on No. 185. It is his contention that the evidence did not warrant submission of the case to the jury and that the trial court thus erred in overruling his demurrer at the conclusion of the Commonwealth's case. Our review of the record convinces us of the ...


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