Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH v. WILLIAMS (07/01/74)

decided: July 1, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
WILLIAMS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1971, Nos. 406 and 407, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Eugene Williams.

COUNSEL

Louis G. F. Retacco, and Nicholas A. Clemente, for appellant.

Louis A. Perez, Jr. and David Richman, Assistant District Attorneys, Abraham J. Gafni, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Jones

[ 456 Pa. Page 378]

Following a negotiated guilty plea to a charge of murder*fn1 and to a charge of unlawful carrying of a firearm without a license, appellant was sentenced to six to fifteen years on the murder bill with a concurrent sentence of one and one-half to three years on the weapons charge. Appellant's only argument on this appeal is that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered since it was primarily motivated by the existence of an illegally-obtained confession.

Appellant argues, as he did at the suppression hearing, that he was suffering from severe narcotics withdrawal at the time of the confession and, therefore, that the confession was involuntary. In addition to his own testimony, appellant produced a neurologist who testified as to the capacity of one suffering from the type of withdrawal which appellant claimed to have suffered at the time his statement was taken. This expert testimony

[ 456 Pa. Page 379]

    was based on an interview with appellant some six months after the date of the statement. On the other hand, the Commonwealth produced three police detectives who testified that appellant had appeared normal and had not complained of any discomfort at or about the time the confession was made. The judge at the suppression hearing resolved this factual issue in favor of the Commonwealth as indicated by the fourth finding of fact accompanying his order denying appellant's motion to suppress:

"4. The defendant was not under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of his interrogation and statements nor was he suffering from narcotic withdrawal at that time."

Subsequently, at the time the guilty plea was entered, an extensive colloquy occurred between the judge and appellant in which, inter alia, the following exchange transpired:

"The Court: Do you understand that by pleading guilty you are giving up your right to raise questions concerning the admissibility of any statements you may have given or any confessions you may have made; the admissibility into evidence of any parts of evidence found by any search or seizure or any other means, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.