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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. EDWARD FIELDS (10/03/75)

decided: October 3, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
EDWARD FIELDS, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Lee Mandell, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 463 Pa. Page 245]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from an order denying relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act.*fn1 Edward Fields was

[ 463 Pa. Page 246]

    arrested and charged with the fatal shooting of a young man on October 10, 1964, in Philadelphia. He was indicted on a charge of murder.

Following indictment, appellant was represented by two sets of appointed counsel. The first pair of attorneys discussed the case with appellant and told him that in their opinion the best course for him to follow was to enter a guilty plea. They also told him that the choice of plea was his alone.

Appellant was dissatisfied with this advice and, lacking confidence in the zeal of his appointed counsel, sought to have them replaced. Although a motion to that effect was denied, appellant was represented by different counsel at the hearing at which his changed plea was accepted.

It appears that at least one of the replacement counsel also advised appellant to plead guilty. Despite contrary advice from co-counsel, he entered a guilty plea on December 14, 1966. After an extensive colloquy conducted by defense counsel, counsel for the Commonwealth, and the court, the plea was accepted. No direct appeal was taken.

Appellant on this appeal asserts that his guilty plea was not made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently because (1) it was based on an allegedly unconstitutionally obtained confession,*fn2 (2) his counsel ineffectively represented him by advising him to plead guilty, and (3) he did not know that he was waiving his right ...


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