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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM WATERS (12/28/77)

decided: December 28, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM WATERS, APPELLANT



No. 1533 October Term, 1976, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, at No. 162 August Term, 1971.

COUNSEL

John W. Packel, Assistant Public Defender, and Benjamin Lerner, Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Steven H. Goldblatt and Deborah E. Glass, Assistant District Attorneys, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Spaeth, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Hoffman, J., joins.

Author: Price

[ 252 Pa. Super. Page 359]

This is an appeal from the lower court's order revoking parole. Appellant contends that he is entitled to discharge because the revocation hearing was not held as speedily as possible as required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 1409. We disagree and affirm the lower court.

On October 9, 1973, appellant William Waters entered a guilty plea to burglary and larceny and was sentenced to time served to twenty-three months imprisonment for burglary and a concurrent three year term of probation for larceny. Appellant would then have completed the sentence for burglary on July 12, 1975, and larceny on August 12, 1976. Appellant was paroled on the burglary conviction on February 12, 1974.

Appellant was arrested on April 9, 1975, for theft. On October 27, 1975, he was convicted of theft and sentenced to eleven and one-half to twenty-three months imprisonment. This conviction provided the basis for the parole violation proceeding which is the subject of the instant appeal.

On March 24, 1976, and April 8, 1976, a revocation hearing was held. Parole was revoked and appellant was ordered to prison for the time remaining, approximately seventeen months, on the October 9, 1973, burglary conviction. Appellant contends that the delay of four months and twenty-six days from the date of conviction until the date of the revocation hearing, March 24, was unreasonable.

At the time of the revocation hearing, appellant was serving his sentence on the October 27, 1975, conviction. In

[ 252 Pa. Super. Page 360]

    revocation was reasonable. Commonwealth v. Parker, supra. In assessing reasonableness, we must consider the length of the delay, the reasons for the delay and the prejudice to the defendant. Commonwealth v. Holmes, supra; Commonwealth v. Lipton, supra; Commonwealth v. Duff, supra.

In Commonwealth v. White, 218 Pa. Super. 188, 279 A.2d 768 (1971), a delay of five and one-half months was held unreasonable. It is clear, however, that neither Rule 1409 nor Commonwealth v. White, supra, intended to establish a ...


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