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COMMONWEALTH v. TINGLE (03/16/73)

decided: March 16, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
TINGLE, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, July T., 1971, No. 790, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gilbert Tingle.

COUNSEL

Samuel Dashiell, for appellant.

Ronald I. Rosen, Assistant District Attorney, with him Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Mr. Chief Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Pomeroy join in this concurring opinion.

Author: Roberts

[ 451 Pa. Page 242]

Appellant Gilbert Tingle was tried non-jury in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia and found guilty of second degree murder. Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to six to fifteen years imprisonment. We reverse.

Appellant's principal contention*fn1 is that the suppression court erred in finding voluntary his confession

[ 451 Pa. Page 243]

    secured by the police after some twenty-one and a half hours of interrogation.*fn2

The challenged confession was secured by the police between appellant's warrantless arrest and arraignment, a period of some twenty-one and a half hours. The circumstances surrounding appellant's arrest and the lengthy delay before arraignment, as established by the Commonwealth's own witnesses, are as follows: Appellant was arrested at approximately 11:45 A.M. on June 27, 1971. He was immediately taken to the police station and handcuffed to a chair for the next twenty-one and a half hours. During that interim, spent in a "well-lit" room of modest dimensions, appellant was subjected to almost constant police interrogation. By the computation of the police appellant could have had no more than six hours of respite during this twenty-one and a half hour detention.

During the twenty-one and a half hour period of almost constant interrogation and surveillance only appellant's most basic needs were satisfied. Access was provided to a lavatory and appellant received three sandwiches and coffee. A statement was actually given by appellant at 5:45 P.M. on June 27, but the police were not satisfied with its contents and continued the interrogation. Finally, at 9:15 A.M. on June 28, a second statement, now challenged as involuntary, was secured from the appellant, and within minutes he was thereafter arraigned.

The issue presented is whether the twenty-one and a half hour delay between arrest and arraignment violates the clear mandate of Pa. R. Crim. P. 118: "When a defendant ...


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