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COMMONWEALTH v. HAINDS (06/28/72)

decided: June 28, 1972.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
HAINDS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County, No. 67 of 1970, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mark Steven Hainds.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Walrath, for appellant.

Rudolph J. Van der Hiel, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Pomeroy took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: O'brien

[ 448 Pa. Page 68]

In the early morning of December 26, 1968, the appellant, Mark Steven Hainds, age nineteen, accompanied

[ 448 Pa. Page 69]

    by two other young men, was hitchhiking at or near Warrenton, Virginia. The three hitchhikers were picked up by William Ellis, the decedent, who drove them to Buffalo, New York, where the other two hitchhikers disembarked. Ellis and the appellant began the return trip to Warrenton and were driving south on Route 15 from New York State through Pennsylvania, when an altercation occurred in the automobile during which the decedent was shot.

Appellant then drove decedent's car north on Route 15, back toward Buffalo. When he reached Mansfield, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, he deposited the decedent's body in a cemetery, turned the car around and again headed south on Route 15. He was involved in an accident in Liverpool, Perry County, Pennsylvania, early in the morning of December 27, 1968, and was taken to a hospital in Harrisburg.

Appellant was subsequently arrested, transferred to Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and indicted by a Tioga County Grand Jury on the charges of murder and larceny of an automobile. Subsequent to the indictments, the appellant, expressing a desire to show his attorney and the state police where the shooting took place, took them to a spot in Lycoming County. Prior to that, the Commonwealth had no evidence as to where the fatal shot had been fired. On April 21, 1969, after a hearing on a petition and motion filed by the Tioga County District Attorney, the court authorized the Tioga County District Attorney to enter a nolle prosequi on the indictments against the appellee, holding that § 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, Act of March 31, 1860, P. L. 427, 19 P.S. § 525, was not applicable and that § 46 of the act, 19 P.S. § 522, required the appellant to be tried in Lycoming County where the fatal shot had been fired.

On the same day, appellant was rearrested and removed to Lycoming County on charges of murder, larceny

[ 448 Pa. Page 70]

    of an automobile and robbery. He was subsequently indicted by a Lycoming County Grand Jury on August 8, 1969. On April 2, 1970, the District Attorney of Lycoming County petitioned the court to enter a nolle prosequi on the charges against the appellant, allegedly because the only evidence as to where the fatal shot had been fired was the uncorroborated statement of the appellant. The appellant was immediately thereafter ...


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