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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. EDOWSKI v. MARONEY (11/15/66)

decided: November 15, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. EDOWSKI, APPELLANT,
v.
MARONEY



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1966, No. 811, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Zenith M. Edowski, Jr. v. Robert W. Duggan, District Attorney, and James F. Maroney, Superintendent.

COUNSEL

Zenith M. Edowski, Jr., appellant, in propria persona.

Edwin J. Martin and Charles B. Watkins, Assistant District Attorneys, and Robert W. Duggan, District Attorney, for appellees.

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

Author: Jones

[ 423 Pa. Page 231]

Zenith M. Edowski, Jr., petitioned the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. After a hearing at which Edowski was represented by court-appointed counsel, the court refused to issue the writ. From that order stems the instant appeal.

In 1960 Edowski was indicted for murder. In June, 1960, he was convicted of murder in the second degree after a jury trial, wherein he was represented by competent counsel, and sentenced to imprisonment for ten to twenty years. Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were filed but later withdrawn.

Edowski, 21 years of age and a resident of Coraopolis, on the evening of November 29, 1959, visited a number of bars in Coraopolis; in the first bar he met one Ann Corbett and she accompanied him to various other bars. Around midnight, Edowski and Ann Corbett went to Edowski's parked car where they had sexual intercourse. They then went to another bar and, after having a drink, drove in Edowski's car to Montour Creek where they again parked and had sexual

[ 423 Pa. Page 232]

    intercourse. Although the testimony is conflicting, under the Commonwealth's version Edowski picked up a tire iron from the back of his car, struck Ann Corbett on the head, dragged her from the car, beat her several more times and dragged her body into Montour Creek where it was found the next morning. That afternoon Edowski was arrested.

A ring belonging to the victim was found in a shopping bag in the basement of Edowski's grandfather's home; the victim's purse was found across a creek from Edowski's home; a tire wrench was found under a tray in the rear of Edowski's brother's home;*fn1 plaster casts of tire tracks at the scene of the crime matched tires on Edowski's car and bloodstains found on the seat of Edowski's car were of the same group as the victim's blood.

According to the Commonwealth, Edowski, in custody without counsel, was warned of his constitutional rights to remain silent and that any statement he made might be used against him but, nevertheless, he gave the police a statement. At trial, Edowski's testimony was, in substance, the same as that contained in the statement. While in jail, Edowski wrote a letter containing incriminating information which letter he gave to a fellow prisoner in the jail who in turn gave the letter to an assistant district attorney. The information in the letter enabled the Commonwealth to obtain additional evidence incriminating Edowski. To the introduction of Edowski's statement and the letter no objection was made at trial.

Edowski has five grounds upon which he contends the writ of habeas corpus should issue, each of which ...


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