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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM WESTLY HAGANS (01/24/79)

decided: January 24, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM WESTLY HAGANS, APPELLANT



No. 188 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Order of the Superior Court at No. 470 October Term, 1976, affirming Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, of Philadelphia at Nos. 676, 679, 680 February Term, 1975

COUNSEL

Colie B. Chappelle, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Edward G. Rendell, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Deputy Dist. Atty. for Law, Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Jane C. Greenspan, Asst. Dist. Attys., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Pomeroy, former J., took no part in the decision of this case. Manderino, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: O'brien

[ 483 Pa. Page 417]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, William Westly Hagans, was convicted of two counts of robbery and one count of criminal conspiracy in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. He was sentenced to five to ten years in prison for each count of robbery, the sentences to run concurrently. Sentence on the conspiracy conviction was suspended. The Superior Court affirmed the judgments of sentence. Commonwealth v. Hagans, 241 Pa. Super. 575, 360 A.2d 670 (1976). We granted appellant's petition for allowance of appeal.

The Commonwealth's evidence shows that appellant along with his brother, Edward, and one Samuel Williamson,*fn1 robbed the home of Shirley Lofton in Philadelphia the evening of December 24, 1974. Lofton was in her home with several friends, including Charles Reed and Samuel Edwards. The doorbell rang and Lofton sent Reed to answer it. William Hagans, Edward Hagans and Samuel Williamson entered and forced everyone to lie down on the living room floor, taking money and cigarettes from the victims. They then took Edwards' car keys and used his car to flee the scene.

Appellant first argues that he is entitled to a discharge for failure to bring him to trial within one hundred eighty (180) days after the filing of the complaint, as required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100. Appellant also claims that he is entitled to a new trial because the trial court denied a motion for severance. The motion was made because the Commonwealth proposed to introduce a confession by Edward Hagans, appellant's brother. Neither of these claims was presented in written post-verdict motions nor in briefs in the trial court. They were presented orally and ruled on by the court at the time of argument on post-verdict motions.

[ 483 Pa. Page 418]

We find that to be insufficient to preserve the issues for review.

This case is controlled by Commonwealth v. Waters, 477 Pa. 430, 384 A.2d 234 (1978). The facts of this case parallel those in Waters. Here, post-verdict motions were filed on October 23, 1975, ten months after our decision in Commonwealth v. Blair, 460 Pa. 31, 331 A.2d 213 (1975), while in Waters the post-verdict motions were filed on September 17, 1975, nine months after Blair.

In this case, as in Waters, defense counsel did not file any amended written motions, but rather presented oral arguments in support of issues not raised in the previously filed written motions. The ...


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