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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RONALD E. FRENCH (07/12/78)

decided: July 12, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RONALD E. FRENCH, APPELLANT



NO. 73 APRIL TERM, 1977, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division of Venango County at S.D. No. 172 of 1974 and S.D. No. 310 of 1974.

COUNSEL

David P. Brandt, Assistant Public Defender, Franklin, for appellant.

Miles R. Lynn, Jr., District Attorney, Franklin, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Spaeth, J., concurs in the result. Watkins, former President Judge, did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 428]

At No. 174-1974, the appellant, Ronald E. French was charged with escape*fn1 from the Venango County Jail on or about April 25, 1974 and at No. 310 of 1974, he was charged with escape from the same jail on or about July 14, 1974. As the result of a plea bargain entered into by the appellant and the district attorney, appellant pled guilty to both charges of escape. On August 30, 1974, he was sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment on each charge, the minimum to be not less than three and a half years and the maximum to be not more than seven years. The two sentences were to run consecutively. The appellant did not file a petition to withdraw his guilty plea prior to sentencing nor did he file any other post trial motions. Also, appellant did not file a direct appeal following his sentencing nor did he file a petition to correct the sentence. The first time he raised the

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 429]

    issues complained of was in a petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act.*fn2 After a hearing his petition was dismissed by the lower court and this appeal followed.

Appellant raises two issues on appeal: 1) pressures were brought to bear upon him which resulted in the plea of guilty, thereby rendering it involuntary and uninformed; and 2) errors in the appellant's pre-sentence report and the prejudicial tone of that report were such as to entitle him to be resentenced.

Appellant refers to several different factors as having an influence on his decision to enter a guilty plea. All of which he claims were improper and therefore rendered his plea involuntary. The terms of the negotiated plea bargain between appellant and the district attorney were that the Commonwealth would dismiss or nolle pros certain charges if appellant would plead guilty to the two charges of escape. Specifically, the Commonwealth agreed to drop the following charges:

(1) S.D. No. 104-1974. The indictment charged appellant with criminal attempt to commit burglary.

(2) S.D. No. 149-1974. The indictment ...


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