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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. CORBIN v. MYERS (11/15/66)

decided: November 15, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. CORBIN, APPELLANT,
v.
MYERS



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of York County, Jan. T., 1965, No. 80, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Robert Corbin v. David N. Myers, Superintendent.

COUNSEL

Gerald E. Ruth, for appellant.

John T. Miller, First Assistant District Attorney, with him John F. Rauhauser, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

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

Author: Jones

[ 423 Pa. Page 243]

On January 5, 1951, Robert Corbin was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree and punishment

[ 423 Pa. Page 244]

    was fixed at life imprisonment. Sentence was imposed on June 25, 1951, in accordance with the jury's verdict and no appeal from the judgment of sentence was taken.

On November 30, 1964, Corbin instituted a habeas corpus action which the Court of Common Pleas of York County dismissed without hearing. On appeal to this Court, because, at the murder trial, the court had failed to conduct an independent hearing upon the issue of the voluntariness of Corbin's statements, as mandated by Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 84 S. Ct. 1774 (1964), we remanded the matter for a hearing where, in accordance with the requirements of due process, the voluntariness of Corbin's oral statements offered at the trial could be fully evaluated and determined. See: Commonwealth ex rel. Corbin v. Myers, 419 Pa. 139, 213 A.2d 356 (1965).*fn1 On remand, the court below held that Corbin's statements were voluntarily made. The propriety of that ruling is now before us.

Corbin was tried and convicted for the April 14, 1950 murder of Anna M. Bittle whose body was found in Codorus Creek under the Beaver St. Bridge in York, Pa. The murder occurred in the presence of Genevieve Heistand, a companion of Corbin.

On May 23, 1950, Corbin was arrested and committed to jail on a charge unrelated to the murder. On May 26, 1950, he was taken to York City Hall where he was questioned on matters unrelated to the murder from 10:25 a.m. till 12 noon. That afternoon he was questioned about the Bittle murder from 3:25 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. During

[ 423 Pa. Page 245]

    the afternoon and evening interrogation Corbin stated he had spent the entire night of April 14 with Genevieve Heistand, that they crossed the Beaver St. Bridge, and that he had no knowledge of a woman's body being found in ...


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