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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES H. PADGETT (07/05/79)

decided: July 5, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JAMES H. PADGETT, APPELLANT



No. 27 May Term, 1978, Appeal, in forma pauperis, from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, of York County, at No. 75 October Term, 1972

COUNSEL

James W. Harris, York, for appellant.

John C. Uhler, Dist. Atty., Sheryl Ann Dorney, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 485 Pa. Page 387]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, James H. Padgett, appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, denying him a hearing on his third Post Conviction Hearing Act petition.

Appellant was convicted of murder of the first degree by a judge sitting with a jury in May, 1973. At trial, appellant was represented by privately retained counsel. Trial counsel filed post-verdict motions and argued those motions before the court.

Upon disposition of post-verdict motions by the court, new counsel was retained by appellant. Defense counsel requested

[ 485 Pa. Page 388]

    leave to file additional post-verdict motions. This request was denied and appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment.

A direct appeal was filed with this court. Prior to argument of that appeal, appellant filed a post-conviction petition, challenging the effectiveness of trial counsel. At request of counsel, this court remanded the matter for an evidentiary hearing on the allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the court of common pleas determined that trial counsel provided effective representation and the record was returned to this court to dispose of all claims of error, including the ineffective assistance of trial counsel. This court, in Commonwealth v. Padgett, 465 Pa. 1, 348 A.2d 87 (1975), affirmed the judgment of sentence. Among other issues decided the following allegations of ineffective representation were resolved:

"Appellant's counsel in this appeal argues that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to (1) properly prepare appellant for cross-examination; (2) present a defense that no one would intentionally kill a victim by pointing a gun at a victim's arm; and (3) investigate an alleged assault and ...


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