Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. STEVEN AUSTIN (03/14/79)

decided: March 14, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
STEVEN AUSTIN, APPELLANT



Nos. 150 and 649 January Term, 1977, Appeals from Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, of Philadelphia, at Nos. 2258-2259 November Term, 1975

COUNSEL

Abram Frank Reynolds, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Asst. Dist. Atty., Paul S. Diamond, Asst. Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Roberts, J., files a concurring opinion.

Author: O'brien

[ 484 Pa. Page 57]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Steven Austin, was convicted in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia of murder of the first degree,

[ 484 Pa. Page 58]

    possession of an instrument of crime, possession of a concealed weapon, and possession of a prohibited offensive weapon. He was sentenced to imprisonment for life for the murder conviction and two-and-one-half-to-five-years for the possession of an instrument of crime conviction, the sentences to run consecutively. Sentences for possession of a concealed weapon and possession of a prohibited offensive weapon were suspended. Appellant appealed the judgment of sentence for murder to this court and the judgment of sentence for possession of an instrument of crime to the Superior Court, which certified that appeal to this court.

Appellant was charged in connection with the shooting of Charles Hudson of Philadelphia on July 4, 1975. The shooting resulted in Hudson's death two days later. Appellant was arrested on October 29, 1975, at which time he was sixteen years old. His mother went to the police station, conferred with him privately and advised him not to answer any questions without an attorney. A public defender arrived and he and the mother conferred with appellant. The public defender told appellant not to answer any questions. Later, in the absence of his mother and his attorney, appellant spontaneously told a police officer he wanted to tell him what happened. He received his Miranda warnings and waived his rights. He then gave a statement in which he admitted shooting the decedent. The statement was admitted at trial. Appellant now alleges that because of his age, he was entitled to the benefit of the requirement that a juvenile must be given an opportunity to consult with an interested adult before any confession can be admissible, Commonwealth v. McCutchen, 463 Pa. 90, 343 A.2d 669 (1975), and that his confession was inadmissible under this rule. This claim was presented to a suppression court, which denied appellant relief.

Appellant's claim has been waived. For an issue to be preserved for appeal, it must be specifically raised in written post-verdict motions. Commonwealth v. Blair, 460 Pa. 31,

[ 484 Pa. Page 59331]

A.2d 213 (1975) and Commonwealth v. Clair, 458 Pa. 418, 326 A.2d 272 (1974). Appellant alleged in his motions that the statement should have been suppressed, but made no specific allegation of error. That was not sufficient. We held in Commonwealth v. Jackson, 464 Pa. 292, 346 A.2d 746 (1975), that an alleged reason why a confession is inadmissible must be raised in post-verdict motions. We made a similar ruling in Commonwealth v. Carr, 471 Pa. 86, 369 A.2d 1207 (1977), where the appellant was asserting the same rule on juvenile confessions that is being asserted here. Appellant ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.