Appeals from judgment of sentence and order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1960, No. 112, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stanley Moroz.
William G. Klenk, II, for appellant.
James T. Owens, Assistant District Attorney, with him Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, 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.
On the evening of May 14, 1960, the Mayfair Bowling Alley was broken into and approximately $50 in small change was taken from the cash drawers of the coin-operated vending machine. The investigating police officers found a 70-year-old man named Frank Seibert lying in the bowling alley, badly beaten. At 3:30 A.M. the following day, Seibert was pronounced dead; his death resulted from a fractured skull and hemorrhaging.
The police investigation focused on Stanley Moroz, because they had received several reports of his making purchases and paying for everyday services with a quantity of small change in the general neighborhood of the Mayfair Bowling Alley. On May 17, 1960, he was arrested and signed a written confession the following day. On September 21, 1960, appellant Moroz, while represented by counsel, pleaded guilty to a murder indictment before a three-Judge Court. Appellant was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced
to life imprisonment. No post-trial motions were filed.
On November 29, 1969, a petition for a new trial was filed under the Post Conviction Hearing Act and a hearing was held before the same three Judges who originally heard the case. They granted appellant leave to file an appeal as if timely filed because appellant was not adequately informed of his right to appeal, but dismissed the petition in all other respects. Upon appeal, we remanded the case to the lower Court with leave to file post-trial motions, and with a right to appeal if such motions were denied. Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were filed in the Court below and denied, and these appeals followed.*fn1
Appellant first contends that the Commonwealth has the burden of proof to establish that his guilty plea was voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently entered in 1960. In Commonwealth v. Martin, 442 Pa. 41, 272 A.2d 169, the Court said (page 44): "Appellant's second contention is that the Court erred in placing upon him the burden of proving that his plea was not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently made. 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 plea was made before our decision in Commonwealth ex rel. West v. Rundle, supra [428 Pa. 102, 237 A.2d 196], has the burden of proving this contention." See also Commonwealth v. Enty, 442 Pa. 39, 271 A.2d 926; Commonwealth v. Brown, 443 Pa. 21, 275 A.2d 332 (1971).
With the foregoing principles in mind, we shall examine the instant case to ...