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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT J. CROCKER (03/12/79)

submitted: March 12, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT J. CROCKER, APPELLANT



No. 170 MARCH TERM, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, at No. 192 of 1976.

COUNSEL

Courtney J. Graham, Chambersburg, for appellant.

John R. Walker, District Attorney, and with him John N. Keller, Assistant District Attorney, Chambersburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Van der Voort, Watkins and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 269 Pa. Super. Page 431]

On March 10, 1976, defendant-appellant, Robert J. Crocker, a/k/a Eugene Francis Stillings, Jr., and a co-defendant John Kniss, a/k/a Brown, were caught inside of Minnich's Pharmacy in the town of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, at 3:30 A.M., stealing movable property. Appellant Crocker was indicted upon one charge of burglary and one charge of conspiracy. He and his counsel entered into a plea bargain with the Assistant District Attorney under the terms of which the defendant-appellant would plead guilty to the charge of burglary and the Commonwealth would move for a nol pros of the conspiracy charge. Defendant tendered his guilty plea on June 4, 1976, when it was accepted by the court and when sentencing date was set for July 14, 1976. On that day defendant Crocker was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than seven years nor more than twenty years. No appeal was taken; however, on April 25, 1977, appellant filed a petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, in which petition he alleges that he was denied effective assistance of counsel.

One of his claims is that counsel was ineffective in not advising him of his right to appeal. The trial judge, however, advised him of his rights to appeal (Transcript of Sentencing, July 14, 1976, P. 7). This claim by appellant is without merit.

During the preparation of the case, defendant Crocker asked his counsel what sentence he thought he would receive on the burglary charge. His counsel said he would receive "big time" because of his record and would get

[ 269 Pa. Super. Page 432]

    something like two and one half to five years in a State Correctional Institution. Counsel gave defendant no assurance or promise that he would receive such a sentence. At the colloquy when the plea of guilty was tendered, the following took place:

"THE COURT: Now, Mr. Crocker, you have heard Mr. Cramer's statement that there is a plea bargain that has been worked out between you and your attorney and the District Attorney's office, and that bargain or agreement is that if you will plead guilty to the charge of burglary, then the Commonwealth will nol-pros the complicity charge. Now, is that the agreement that you and your counsel entered into?

MR. CROCKER: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Do you believe there is any part of the agreement that was made that has not ...


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