Detleff A. Hansen, Bernard M. Billick, Stroudsburg, for appellant.
James F. Marsh, Dist. Atty., Stroudsburg, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien and Pomeroy, JJ., concur in the result.
Appellant was charged with the murder of Regina Prosser.*fn1 Prior to trial, appellant moved to suppress incriminating statements he had made to the police. After a hearing, the suppression court denied the motion. Thereupon, appellant pleaded guilty to murder generally.
Pursuant to his plea, a three-judge court conducted a degree-of-guilt hearing*fn2 and found appellant guilty of murder in the first degree. After denial of his post-trial motions, appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment. This appeal ensued.*fn3
Appellant asserts two grounds for reversal. First, he argues that the suppression court erred in failing to suppress incriminating statements. Second, he claims that the evidence produced at the hearing was insufficient to support a finding of murder in the first degree. We find these contentions to be without merit and affirm.
Appellant asserts that the incriminating statements should have been suppressed because (1) he was not given Miranda*fn4 warnings and (2) his youth and the absence of friendly adult guidance during interrogation rendered his waiver of Miranda rights unknowing, unintelligent and involuntary.
The suppression court found the following facts concerning the circumstances in which appellant made the statements. Appellant, at the time 17 years, seven months old, was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida at 2:00 a. m., on October 12, 1971, for loitering. The arresting officers read him his Miranda rights. Later that morning, appellant's foster parents, who resided in New Jersey, were notified by telephone of appellant's arrest.
At about 7:30 a. m., Sergeant Goldstein of the Miami Beach police reviewed the record of appellant's arrest and discovered that appellant was sought by Pennsylvania authorities. When at 8:30 a. m., appellant appeared for arraignment, Goldstein obtained a 24 hour continuance of the arraignment to enable him to complete his investigation. About 2 hours later the Stroudsburg, ...