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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LEROY HADDEN (04/12/79)

decided: April 12, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
LEROY HADDEN, APPELLANT



No. 2465 October Term, 1977, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of Honeyman, J., dated Aug. 26, 1977, in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pa., Criminal Division, at No. 377-77, 378-77, 377.2, 378.1.

COUNSEL

George B. Ditter, Chief, Appeals Division, Office of Public Defender, Montgomery County, and with him Douglas M. Johnson, Assistant Public Defender, Norristown, for appellant.

Eric J. Cox, Assistant District Attorney, Chief, Appeals Division, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Spaeth

[ 265 Pa. Super. Page 114]

This is an appeal from judgments of sentence on convictions of four counts of burglary and two counts of conspiracy. The Crimes Code, Act of Dec. 6, 1972, P.L. 1482, No. 334, § 1, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 3502 and 903, respectively.

-1-

Appellant first argues that an incriminating statement was taken from him in violation of Pa.R.Crim.P. 130, which relates to speedy preliminary hearings.

Appellant was initially arrested at 6:45 p. m. on January 18, 1977, not for the four burglaries at issue here, but for a different one. At some time before his arraignment, which was at 10:10 a. m. on January 19, he made an incriminating statement relative to that different burglary.*fn1 When appellant failed to make the $5,000 bail set at his preliminary arraignment, he was returned to police custody. Almost immediately, at 10:30, the police began questioning appellant about his possible involvement in various other burglaries.

[ 265 Pa. Super. Page 115]

Appellant began to incriminate himself shortly thereafter. At 1:00 p. m. he signed a formal statement, and at 5:00 p. m. he was arraigned for the four burglaries at issue here.

Under Commonwealth v. Williams, 455 Pa. 569, 319 A.2d 419 (1974), a statement given before the preliminary arraignment must be suppressed if the preliminary arraignment was unnecessarily delayed, the statement is prejudicial, and the giving of the statement was reasonably related to the delay. Appellant argues that in defining the amount of delay here we must start from the time of his initial arrest at 6:45 p. m. on the 18th, and must therefore suppress his second statement, which incriminated him in the four burglaries, as the product of undue delay.

A similar issue confronted the Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Wiggins, 472 Pa. 95, 371 A.2d 207 (1977). In that case the facts were as follows. The defendant was arrested at 5:45 a. m. on November 21 on a charge of rape. By 8:00 a. m. he had made an oral confession, not only of the rape in question but also of other rapes. For the next six and one-half hours the police continued to gather evidence against the defendant, transporting him to the neighborhood where the rapes had occurred and taking a formal statement from him. During this time the police began to suspect that the defendant had been involved in a murder, and, almost 11 hours after his arrest, told him he would be transported to homicide headquarters. At that point the defendant made an incriminating statement regarding the murder. Later, at 12:30 a. m. on November 22, he made another incriminating statement regarding the murder. He was not arraigned on any of the charges until after 3:30 a. m. On appeal from his conviction of murder, the defendant argued that his preliminary arraignment on the rape charges had been unnecessarily ...


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