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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT LEE MONTGOMERY (05/01/79)

decided: May 1, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
ROBERT LEE MONTGOMERY, APPELLANT



No. 231 March Term 1977, Appeal from Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, Criminal Division, at No. 88 January Term 1972.

COUNSEL

Richard H. Milgrub, Public Defender, for appellant.

Barbara H. Schickling, Asst. Dist. Atty., Kim Kesner, Clearfield, for appellee.

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

Author: Eagen

[ 485 Pa. Page 112]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On January 22, 1972, Dorothy Ann Knepp and Donald Harry Snyder were fatally shot at the Windmill Tavern in Clearfield County. Subsequently, appellant, Robert Lee Montgomery, was indicted for both killings. On September 13, 1977, Montgomery, while assisted by counsel, plead guilty*fn1 to "two counts of murder of the second degree."*fn2

[ 485 Pa. Page 113]

In exchange for the guilty pleas, the district attorney agreed Montgomery could plead guilty to two counts of murder of the second degree and also recommended the court impose a sentence of not less than ten years nor more than twenty years imprisonment on one count and a consecutive sentence of not less than six years nor more than twelve years imprisonment on the other count. Following a degree-of-guilt hearing, the court "accepted" the pleas of guilt to "murder of the second degree" and immediately imposed the recommended sentences. On September 21, 1977, Montgomery filed a motion requesting the court to reconsider the judgments of sentence. This motion was denied and this appeal followed.

Initially, Montgomery maintains the trial court erred in accepting the guilty pleas. Specifically, he says his pleas were not knowing and intelligent since various facts on the record contravened his guilt. See Commonwealth v. Roundtree, 440 Pa. 199, 269 A.2d 709 (1970). This issue is raised for the first time on appeal to this Court and, therefore, has not been properly preserved for review.

In the motion,*fn3 filed after the imposition of the judgments of sentence and subsequently denied by the court, Montgomery did not challenge the validity of the guilty pleas. Rather, the sole issue raised in the motion was the legality of the sentences.*fn4 Thus, any challenge to the validity

[ 485 Pa. Page 114]

    of the guilty pleas is waived. Pa.R.Crim.P. 321. Cf. Pa.R.Crim.P. 1123; Commonwealth v. Blair, 460 Pa. 31, 331 A.2d 213 (1975); Commonwealth ...


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