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COMMONWEALTH v. WILLIAMS (11/13/70)

decided: November 13, 1970.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
WILLIAMS, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Jan. T., 1954, Nos. 547 to 561, inclusive, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John Leonard Williams.

COUNSEL

John Leonard Williams, appellant, in propria persona.

Taras M. Wochok, Assistant District Attorney, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, 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. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 217 Pa. Super. Page 391]

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:

Appellant pleaded guilty to eleven indictments charging burglary, larceny, and receiving stolen goods; carrying a concealed deadly weapon; and carrying a firearm in a motor vehicle without a license. After waiving a jury trial, appellant was tried and found guilty on two indictments charging assault, assault with intent to kill, and committing crimes of violence while armed. Appellant was sentenced to imprisonment for five to ten years each on four of the guilty plea counts with the sentences to run consecutively. Sentence was suspended on the other indictments.

[ 217 Pa. Super. Page 392]

Appellant filed a petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, requesting, inter alia, the right to file post-trial motions nunc pro tunc. Act of January 25, 1966, P. L. (1965) 1580, 19 P.S. ยง 1180-1 et seq. (Supp. 1970). A hearing was held in the court below, at which appellant testified that he had not been informed of his right to appeal. The Commonwealth did not contest this allegation, and the hearing judge stated in his opinion that "[t]he testimony indicates that petitioner was not advised of his right to appeal. However, petitioner is serving sentences only on bills upon which we have found him to have knowingly and intelligently pleaded guilty. As such, the only questions which he could raise on appeal have been raised here."

Although the lower court correctly stated the rule for guilty pleas, in nonpleas cases "[w]here the trial record is silent with regard to a defendant's knowledge of his appellate rights, the burden of proof in a collateral proceeding is upon the Commonwealth to show that his rights were knowingly and intelligently waived. In order to establish such a waiver, it must be shown that the accused knew of his absolute right to appeal and that he knew of the right to have counsel appointed for him if indigent." Commonwealth v. Rawls, 217 Pa. Superior Ct. 123, 268 A.2d 121 (1970). The lower court opinion indicates ...


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