officers then confronted relator with his wife. Although the testimony is confused on precisely what happened during this confrontation, relator's wife was urged to implore relator to change his story. It seems reasonable to suppose that relator's wife was in a state of great agitation. Relator then confessed commission of the burglary the previous day, and later signed a statement to the same effect. The police then procured a search warrant to search relator's house for the goods taken in the course of the March 22 burglary. Upon arrival at relator's house, they found other goods which they concluded was evidence of other burglaries which they thought relator might have committed. In the course of the next several days, nearly two carloads of such goods were removed from relator's home and taken to the Middletown Township station where relator was confronted with it. In the aftermath of his confession on March 23 and the search of his residence, relator confessed to the commission of over fifteen burglaries to police from various counties. Apparently the Middletown Township police sought to identify the goods with various reported burglaries in their jurisdictions, and invited officers from other jurisdictions to come and do likewise. At least in most of the cases, relator confessed to burglaries when confronted with the goods that had been seized. Relator did not have counsel during this period.
On March 25, two Philadelphia police officers arrived, and relator orally confessed to one burglary in Philadelphia County. During the last week of March he was taken to Bucks County Prison where he remained until April 3. On April 3, he was taken to Philadelphia, where he orally confessed to another crime, but refused to give a formal written statement. After he was allowed another visit from his wife, he finally gave the requested written statement. There is no evidence that relator had counsel during this period. Also, during this period, relator manifested symptoms of severe psychological disturbance, and on April 5 he was committed to Norristown State Hospital on the affidavit of the Warden of Bucks County Prison and two physicians who recommended that relator obtain psychiatric treatment because they thought him to be mentally ill. On August 2 at his arraignment, relator pleaded not guilty as to the two charges against him in Philadelphia County, and at trial after less than five minutes discussion with appointed counsel he changed his plea to guilty.
Although the affidvait of relator's trial attorney states that he now has no specific recollection of what transpired during this discussion, it does not seem possible that during that time he could have made a reasonable evaluation of alternative courses of defense or explained to relator the alternatives he had and the possible consequences of each.
There is no clear indication that counsel was fully aware of the events in Bucks County. Had counsel been aware of these events, and had he allowed more time, he might have moved to suppress the statement given the Philadelphia police on the ground that it was involuntary,
or that the statement given the Bucks County police was involuntary, Perrygo v. United States, 55 App.D.C. 80, 2 F.2d 181 (1924); Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534, 81 S. Ct. 735, 5 L. Ed. 2d 760 (1961), and there was no "break in the stream of events" or "intervening act of free will" between that statement and the statement to the Philadelphia police on April 3 so as to remove the taint of the initial statement. Clewis v. Texas, 386 U.S. 707, 87 S. Ct. 1338, 18 L. Ed. 2d 423 (1967); Commonwealth of Pa. ex rel. Craig v. Maroney, 348 F.2d 22 (3rd Cir. 1965), cert. den. 384 U.S. 1019, 86 S. Ct. 1966, 16 L. Ed. 2d 1042 (1966). A motion might also have been filed to suppress evidence seized from relator's home on the ground that the warrant was defective because it was not accompanied by a certificate of probable cause, or oral testimony under oath (g. N.T. December 12, 1968, pp. 5-9), that the premises named on the warrant was not the one searched, or that the evidence seized had no relation to the crime then under investigation. Moreover, had he been fully aware of the severe psychological disturbances which relator had experienced, he might have sought a mitigation of sentence or treatment as an alternative to sentence. He would certainly have taken more care in studying relator's case and in advising him of the nature and consequences of the alternatives open to the defense.
Accordingly, we conclude that relator was denied the effective assistance of counsel because of the late appointment of his trial counsel and that he was thereby prejudiced. The writ will be granted unless the Commonwealth takes an appeal, or grants relator a new trial.
The Court wishes to express sincere appreciation to Thomas C. Carroll, Esquire for his excellent legal services in every respect and in the highest traditions of the American Bar. It is to be noted that he represented relator without compensation or reimbursement for expenses incurred.
AND NOW, this 20th day of May, 1969, IT IS ORDERED that the writ of habeas corpus is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that issuance of the writ shall be suspended if the Commonwealth files an appeal within thirty days, or, in the alternative, the Commonwealth grants relator a new trial within forty-five days. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if the Commonwealth takes neither of the above steps, the writ shall issue as of course.