Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, Feb. T., 1966, No. 692, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Hugh Wilkinson.
Peter C. Paul, for appellant.
Edward G. Rendell and James D. Crawford, Assistant District Attorneys, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Montgomery, J.
[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 366]
On January 17, 1966 at about 1:30 p.m., the appellant, Hugh Wilkinson, and Ronald Henry were seen together on Callowhill Street in the City of Philadelphia, at which time appellant was carrying a suitcase and Henry was carrying a television set. They were stopped by the police, questioned, taken to the police station, and later arrested on charges of burglary, larceny, and receiving stolen goods after a Mrs. Carrie Lake had identified the suitcase and television set as her property which had been removed from her home.
At the trial on March 10, 1966 before Hon. Thomas M. Reed, Judge, both appellant and Henry were represented by Melvin M. Dildine, Esq., an Assistant Voluntary Defender, who preliminarily made a motion to suppress the evidence, which was denied. Thereafter Henry entered a plea of guilty to all charges, and the appellant pleaded guilty only to the charge of receiving stolen goods. These pleas were accepted by the court which thereupon nol-prossed the charges of burglary and larceny against appellant. Both men were sentenced and no appeals were taken therefrom.
[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 367]
Over two years after the date of sentence appellant, on May 1, 1968, filed a petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act which was dismissed following a hearing thereon held July 25, 1968, at which he was represented by David A. Kraftsow, Esq., court-appointed counsel. Following that hearing Mr. Kraftsow withdrew as appellant's counsel because he had been appointed an Assistant Attorney General; and Peter C. Paul, Esq., who represents appellant in this appeal, was appointed in his place.
Appellant now contends that his constitutional right to representation by competent counsel was denied to him because of a conflict in interest existing between him and his co-defendant Henry at the time of the entry of his plea of guilty to the charge of receiving stolen goods, when he and his co-defendant were both represented by said Melvin M. Dildine, Esq. He contends further that his plea of guilty was not intelligently made. Hon. Joseph L. McGlynn, Jr., the judge who presided at the post-conviction hearing, found no conflict of interest existed; and further, that appellant was adequately represented by competent counsel, was aware of the charges against him, and that a plea of guilty to them amounted to an admission of those charges which might result in a prison sentence.
We have carefully examined this record and conclude that it supports the findings and action of Judge McGlynn. Appellant, age 26, was experienced in criminal matters, having previously entered pleas of guilty to various criminal charges, mainly larceny, but also to the use and possession of drugs, and had been found guilty by a jury of other crimes. He admitted that he knew a plea of guilty might mean jail, and he had the experience of violating his parole on a previous sentence.
From the time of his preliminary hearing before the magistrate who committed him ...