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UNITED STATES v. SHADD

March 29, 1979

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Harold George SHADD



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

Defendant Harold George Shadd has filed this motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging his conviction on November 15, 1972, for armed bank robbery. Defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $ 5,000. He was released from prison more than two years ago, but remains on parole at this time. The instant motion seeks to vacate the sentence alleging that defendant did not receive a fair trial because his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel was violated.

Considering that it has been more than six years since defendant's trial, a general review of the proceedings is appropriate.

 The indictment filed at Criminal No. 72-34 charged the defendant with robbing more than $ 83,000 from the Clarion Office of the Northwest Pennsylvania Bank and Trust Company on November 19, 1971. At the trial, six bank employees testified that two men entered the bank at about 6:25 p.m. wearing coveralls and ski masks. The larger man carried a shotgun, wore glasses under the mask, walked in a distinctive manner, and had grey hair sticking out of the mask. *fn1" The tellers were ordered to place money in laundry bags and the two men then fled with the bags.

 Three other government witnesses testified to their efforts to pull the defendant's car out of a ditch between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. on November 19, 1971, about 30 miles northeast of Clarion. The defendant and his witness, James Groomes, Jr., later corroborated the government's testimony. They testified they had been spotting deer when the defendant thought he saw a rabbit on the road. He applied his brakes and skidded into the ditch.

 Both government and defense witnesses testified that the defendant and his witness, Groomes, were later stopped for speeding by Pennsylvania State Police troopers during the early morning hours of November 20, 1971, on Pennsylvania Route 711, south of Ligonier, in the vicinity of the defendant's home. When the troopers asked if they could look in the defendant's trunk, he told them it contained only luggage from his deer spotting trip in Potter County. He was unable to find the key and told the officers his wife must have it.

 The government further offered testimony that although the defendant had been on public assistance from January 19, 1971, until October 1, 1971, he had paid almost $ 15,000 for two Chrysler Imperials in December, 1971, and had given the car salesman an additional $ 10,000 in cash to establish his credit; that in January, 1972, the defendant paid for gas at a gas station near his home with a $ 20 bill which was one of the bait bills taken from the bank during the robbery; and, that at the time of the defendant's arrest on January 25, 1972, a complete package of $ 20 bills in bait money from the bank was found in a suitcase in a closet of the defendant's mobile home, together with other packages of bills, totalling $ 15,568.

 On November 15, 1972, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and sentence was imposed. The conviction was affirmed on June 12, 1973 (No. 72-2078). On June 28, 1973, after an evidentiary hearing, this court denied the defendant's application for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. This denial was affirmed on appeal (No. 73-1696, November 29, 1973).

 Following his conviction, the defendant was no stranger to this court. He challenged various aspects of the proceedings in numerous motions to vacate sentence and petitions for habeas corpus relief. He also filed numerous civil rights actions.

 See: Civil Action No. 73-589, filed July 16, 1973

 Civil Action No. 73-1028, filed December 3, 1973

 Civil Action No. 73-1096, filed December 28, 1973

 Civil Action No. 74-566, filed June 12, 1974

 Civil Action No. 74-567, filed June ...


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