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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM JAY ECK (07/08/77)

decided: July 8, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM JAY ECK, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Joseph C. Mesics, Public Defender, Wiley P. Parker, Lebanon, for appellant.

Frederick S. Wolfson, Asst. Dist. Atty., David J. Brightbill, Asst. Dist. Atty., Thomas S. Long, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.

Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, former C. J., took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Pomeroy, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: O'brien

[ 473 Pa. Page 415]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On June 30, 1975, appellant, William Jay Eck, was arrested in connection with the homicide of James Schauer. Appellant was also charged with aggravated and simple assault against Sylvia Wolfe, the decedent's girlfriend, and the kidnapping and rape of Terry White, Mrs. Wolfe's sixteen-year-old daughter.

On September 9, 1975, after four jurors were selected, appellant, through his defense counsel indicated that he wished to plead guilty to the murder of James Schauer

[ 473 Pa. Page 416]

    and also wished to plead guilty to the simple assault of Sylvia Wolfe. The rape and kidnapping indictments were nol. prossed. After a degree-of-guilt hearing, appellant was found guilty of murder of the first degree and simple assault. On September 12, 1975, appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment in a state correctional institution.*fn1 This appeal followed.

Appellant argues that the on-the-record colloquy failed to disclose the elements of any of the degrees of murder or voluntary manslaughter and, therefore, the colloquy did not comply with Pa.R.Crim.P. 319 and this Court's decision in Commonwealth v. Ingram, 455 Pa. 198, 316 A.2d 77 (1974). We agree and reverse the judgment of sentence and remand the case for a new trial.

In the instant case, the court, during the colloquy, questioned appellant as follows:

"Q. Now do you understand that when you do enter a plea of guilty to murder, I will have to conduct a hearing and after the Commonwealth presents its evidence, at that hearing your attorneys are entitled to cross ...


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