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COMMONWEALTH v. LUNDY (03/18/71)

decided: March 18, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
LUNDY, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, March T., 1964, No. 30, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Larry Lundy.

COUNSEL

Alfred P. Filippone, and Girone & Filippone, for appellant.

James T. Owens and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 443 Pa. Page 9]

On February 11, 1964, two police officers were summoned to the apartment of defendant-appellant, Larry Lundy, at 3242 North 17th Street in Philadelphia. Upon entering the apartment, the police officers discovered the body of Everrett Miller, a 16-year-old male who had been repeatedly stabbed. Later the same day, the boy died of the stab wounds.

On February 14, 1964, the defendant turned himself in to the police. A few hours after surrendering himself, defendant signed a written statement in which he confessed that he stabbed the victim.

In March of 1964, the defendant was indicted for murder, and two attorneys were appointed to represent him. On November 29, 1965, appellant pleaded guilty to murder generally before three Judges. Defendant was adjudged guilty of murder in the first degree and

[ 443 Pa. Page 10]

    sentenced to life imprisonment. No direct appeal was taken.

On November 26, 1968, defendant filed a Post Conviction Hearing Act petition, asserting eight grounds for post-conviction relief. A hearing before another Judge was held on July 9, 1969. The hearing Judge correctly determined that of the eight grounds asserted by the appellant, only three had been effectively raised: (1) that his guilty plea was unlawfully induced; (2) that his confession was obtained by the police in violation of his Constitutional rights and the same was unlawfully introduced in evidence at his trial; and (3) that he was denied representation by competent counsel. After careful consideration of these grounds, Judge Nix dismissed the post-conviction hearing petition on May 25, 1970. From the dismissal of the Post Conviction Hearing Act petition, this appeal was taken.

Appellant's sole contention on this appeal is that he should be granted a new trial because his guilty plea was not voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently entered.

Initially, it must be noted that since the appellant's guilty plea was entered prior to our decision in Commonwealth ex rel. West v. Rundle, 428 Pa. 102, 237 A.2d 196, he has the burden of proving that his guilty plea was not voluntarily entered. As this Court recently stated in Commonwealth v. Martin, 442 Pa. 41, 272 A.2d 169 (page 44): "In Commonwealth v. McBride, 440 Pa. 81, 269 A.2d 737, and in Commonwealth v. Knowles, 440 Pa. 84, 269 A.2d 739, we held that a defendant whose guilty ...


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