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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JERRY RHODES (10/06/77)

decided: October 6, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
JERRY RHODES, APPELLANT



No. 18 March Term, 1976, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence at Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, County of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, at Nos. 1311/1313, 1973.

COUNSEL

Philip D. Freedman, Assistant Public Defender, Harrisburg, and Joshua D. Lock, Public Defender, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Marion E. MacIntyre, Second Assistant District Attorney, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, District Attorney, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 212]

On November 20, 1974, a jury returned guilty verdicts on two indictments each charging appellant with burglary.

[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 213]

Post-verdict motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to concurrent terms of imprisonment of ten to twenty years. This appeal ensued.

The record discloses the following: In the early evening of October 4, 1971, a home situated on Sunnyside Avenue in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, was burglarized. Entrance to the home was achieved by breaking a pane of glass in the kitchen door. Only six days later on October 10, 1971, at approximately 8:30 P.M., two people were observed by a neighbor on the rear porch of a residence located on Colonial Road, Susquehanna Township. After breaking the glass in the rear door, the burglars realized they were being observed and fled. Commendably, the neighbor gave chase and apprehended Lillian Deutsch, who subsequently identified her escaping companion as one Sam Jenkins. Jenkins, however, was never found, and in March of 1972 Deutsch pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and assault in connection with the incident of October 10, 1971. In June of 1972 Deutsch, while in prison, informed authorities that her confederate in the October 10th burglary was actually Jerry Rhodes, appellant herein.*fn1

Complaints charging Rhodes with the two burglaries were filed in mid-December 1972. At that time, however, Rhodes was incarcerated in Minnesota, so the Commonwealth instituted extradition proceedings. On February 25, 1973, extradition to Pennsylvania was ordered. In the meantime, however, while Rhodes was challenging the extradition order, the Commonwealth in July of 1973 sought permission to present bills of indictment to the grand jury without first holding a preliminary hearing. Permission was granted by the lower court and true bills were returned on July 31, 1973. On May 17, 1974, the Supreme Court of Minnesota affirmed the trial court's order quashing Rhodes' writ of habeas corpus challenging extradition. State ex rel. Rhodes v. Omodt, 300 Minn. 129, 218 N.W.2d 461 (1974). Appellant

[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 214]

    was finally returned to Dauphin County on October 29, 1974.*fn2

Appellant raises numerous issues for consideration.*fn3 It is first contended the court erred in permitting the Commonwealth to present bills of indictment to the grand jury without affording appellant a preliminary hearing. This contention has no merit. The Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure recognize that ...


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