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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JACOB KEEFER (11/24/76)

decided: November 24, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JACOB KEEFER, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Dante G. Bertini, Public Defender, Greensburg, for appellant.

Louis H. Ceraso, Asst. Dist. Atty., Greensburg, Albert M. Nichols, Dist. Atty., for appellee.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Pomeroy

[ 470 Pa. Page 144]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Jacob Keefer, was found guilty by a jury of criminal conspiracy, robbery and voluntary manslaughter. Post-trial motions were denied, and appellant was sentenced to a term of not less than five nor more than twenty years at a state correctional institution on the robbery conviction. Terms of not less than five nor more than ten years each for the manslaughter and conspiracy convictions were imposed, both to run concurrently with the robbery sentence. This appeal followed.*fn1

[ 470 Pa. Page 145]

Evidence presented at trial by the Commonwealth demonstrated that on January 22, 1974 appellant, a seventeen year old juvenile, and three other individuals agreed to rob a hotel in Westmoreland County. Testimony of three co-defendants established that Keefer actively participated in the planning of the robbery, suggested the premises to be robbed and drove the getaway car. During the course of the robbery, a patron, Walter Long, was shot and killed.

Keefer was arrested and charged with criminal homicide arising out of the conspiracy and robbery and later indicted for murder in the criminal division of the court of common pleas.*fn2 He was separately charged with conspiracy and robbery in the juvenile division of the same court.*fn3 A transfer hearing was held at which it was determined that the conspiracy and robbery charges should be transferred to the criminal division to be tried with the homicide charge, and the jury trial which followed embraced all three of the charges.

I

The first issue raised by appellant is whether the robbery and conspiracy charges were properly transferred for trial from the juvenile division to the criminal division.*fn4 Appellant argues that because the juvenile petition

[ 470 Pa. Page 146]

    charged only robbery and conspiracy, both of which are delinquent acts under the Juvenile Act,*fn5 jurisdiction of these charges was in the juvenile division. He claims that the transfer of these charges to the criminal division is governed by Sec. 28(a)(4) of the Juvenile Act,*fn6 which section requires as a condition of transfer that the Commonwealth make out a "prima facie case that the child committed the delinquent act alleged" ...


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