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COMMONWEALTH v. BROWN (02/02/76)

decided: February 2, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BROWN, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Feb. T., 1974, Nos. 575 to 578, inclusive, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. James Edward Brown, Jr.

COUNSEL

Richard F. Furia, for appellant.

Steven H. Goldblatt, Assistant District Attorney, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Jacobs

[ 238 Pa. Super. Page 200]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence of the court below following appellant's August 20, 1974 pleas of guilty to aggravated assault, robbery, possessing

[ 238 Pa. Super. Page 201]

    an instrument of crime and other related offenses. These charges arose from a December 15, 1973 robbery of a bar in the city of Philadelphia involving three men armed with a shotgun and a rifle. Appellant was sentenced to a term of three to ten years on the robbery charge; sentences on the related charges were suspended.

Appellant raises a number of arguments here, only one of which need be considered in view of our disposition of his appeal. Appellant's first contention is that the court below erred in accepting his guilty pleas without first establishing that a factual basis for acceptance existed. In support of this argument, appellant cites Commonwealth v. Vaughn, 459 Pa. 35, 326 A.2d 393 (1974), Commonwealth v. Ingram, 455 Pa. 198, 316 A.2d 77 (1974), and Commonwealth v. Maddox, 450 Pa. 406, 300 A.2d 503 (1973).

After review of the record in light of the foregoing cases and our recent decision in Commonwealth v. Kearse, 233 Pa. Superior Ct. 489, 334 A.2d 720 (1975), we conclude that appellant's argument is meritorious. We therefore reverse and remand for a new trial.

The record reveals that the guilty plea colloquy occurred on August 20, 1974, before Judge Richette. The major portion of the colloquy was conducted by counsel for the Commonwealth. It is well-settled that this procedure was proper. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Ingram, supra. Although the colloquy was otherwise substantially complete by Ingram standards, there is no indication that appellant was properly informed of the nature of the offenses with which he was charged nor is there a record indication that he understood that his admitted acts constituted that offense. Commonwealth v. Jackson, 450 Pa. 417, 299 A.2d 209 (1973); Commonwealth v. Maddox, supra.

The record does not show that the factual basis for the charges against appellant was explained to him, see Commonwealth v. Mack, 230 Pa. Superior Ct. 596, 326 A.2d 881 ...


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