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COMMONWEALTH v. BORTNER (09/23/74)

decided: September 23, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BORTNER, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Nov. T., 1973, No. 36, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Andrew Bortner.

COUNSEL

William J. Rundorff, First Assistant Public Defender, with him John J. Regule, Public Defender, for appellant.

Robert F. Banks, First Assistant District Attorney, with him Joseph J. Nelson, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Van der Voort, J.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 230 Pa. Super. Page 65]

The appellant, Andrew Bortner was arrested on or about February 22, 1973 in Mahoning County, Ohio, on the basis of two warrants. One warrant was based on a Mahoning County, Ohio, charge of violations of Ohio banking laws. The other warrant was from Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and was issued on the basis of forgery and false pretense charges lodged in that county. While incarcerated in Mahoning County, Bortner was also charged with crimes in Trumbull County, Ohio, for which another warrant was issued.

Subsequently, sometime around June, 1973, the Mahoning County charges were dismissed and appellant was transferred to Trumbull County. After some months there, the Trumbull County charges were dismissed

[ 230 Pa. Super. Page 66]

    by the county grand jury. The appellant, after some unascertainable delays, waived extradition to Pennsylvania on October 2, 1973; on the same day he was lodged in Mercer County jail. On December 17, 1973, Bortner pled guilty to the forgery charge and was sentenced to serve from two to five years imprisonment; the false pretense charge was apparently dropped.

On appeal to this Court, the appellant claims he should be entitled to credit on his Pennsylvania sentence for time served in the Ohio jails. In raising this claim, the appellant relies on two arguments. First, he notes that all Ohio charges were dismissed, and thus maintains that the time served must therefore be credited to his Pennsylvania sentence. Second, he alleges that he could have raised the bail on the two Ohio charges but that he remained in incarceration in Ohio solely because he could not raise the additional funds necessary to provide the bail on the Pennsylvania charges.*fn1

In Commonwealth ex rel. Bleecher v. Rundle, 207 Pa. Superior Ct. 443, 217 A.2d 772 (1966) our Court passed upon an analogous claim. Bleecher was held in New York incarceration for some time on separate charges lodged in Montgomery and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania. No New York charges were involved. Bleecher contested extradition for almost one year from the date of his New York arrest until he finally waived extradition and was taken to Delaware County to answer the criminal charges there. He spent over three months in Delaware County before his acquittal on the charges against him in that County. After this acquittal, Bleecher was taken to Montgomery

[ 230 Pa. Super. Page 67]

County where he was adjudged guilty of various charges. Our Court held that Bleecher was not entitled to credit the time he served in Delaware County on his Montgomery County sentence, despite the fact that ...


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