William H. Platt, Public Defender, Allentown, for appellant.
George J. Joseph, Dist. Atty., Lawrence J. Brenner, Asst. Dist. Atty., Allentown, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Roberts, J., filed a concurring opinion in which O'Brien and Manderino, JJ., joined. Eagen, J., dissents.
Appellant, Arturo Ramos, pled guilty to having shot one Andre Rosario and was thereafter found guilty of murder in the second degree, the Commonwealth having stipulated that the charge of murder should rise no higher. A sentence of seven to fourteen years was imposed.
The instant appeal is from the denial of appellant's post-conviction petition alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective and that his plea was involuntary due to the fact that he did not understand the nature of the charges against him.*fn1
The colloquy reflects, as alleged by appellant, that neither the charges against him nor the elements comprising the crime of murder in the second degree were ever explained to him on the record. This fatal omission requires a reversal of the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Criminal Division, and the grant of a new trial in light of our decisions in Commonwealth v. Schork, 467 Pa. 248, 356 A.2d 355 (1976); Commonwealth v. Minor, 467 Pa. 230, 356 A.2d 346 (1976) and Commonwealth v. Ingram, 455 Pa. 198, 316 A.2d 77
(1973). See also, Henderson v. Morgan, 426 U.S. 637, 96 S.Ct. 2253, 49 L.Ed.2d 108 (1976).*fn2
Reversed and remanded for a new trial.
Mr. Chief Justice JONES and Mr. Justice POMEROY dissent to the retroactive application of Commonwealth v. Ingram, 455 Pa. 198, 316 A.2d 77 (1973). See, Commonwealth v. Minor, 467 Pa. 230, ...