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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM JOHNSON (10/25/79)

submitted: October 25, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM JOHNSON, APPELLANT



No. 329 Special Transfer Docket, Appeal from Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, Nos. 1140 & 1147 March Term, 1977.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. McGill, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Assistant District Attorney, Chief, Appeals Division, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge and Roberts and Lipez, JJ.*fn*

Author: Per Curiam

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 489]

On October 11, 1977, appellant pleaded guilty to charges of murder of the third degree and aggravated assault. The Commonwealth recommended imprisonment of 12 1/2 to 25

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 490]

    years on the two charges. After holding a colloquy, the trial court accepted the plea and sentenced appellant to consecutive terms of imprisonment of 6 to 15 years for murder and 1 to 5 years for aggravated assault. Represented by new counsel, appellant subsequently filed a petition for reconsideration of sentence. After a hearing, the court denied the petition. Appellant then filed a petition to withdraw his guilty plea. The court held a hearing, at which only appellant testified, and later denied the petition. Appellant again obtained new counsel and filed this appeal. Appellant seeks to withdraw his guilty plea and contends that (1) counsel led him to believe that he would receive probation of 20 years according to an agreement counsel had made with the court; (2) the trial court should not have denied his petition without hearing testimony from trial counsel; and (3) the trial court should have recused itself because of his charge that the court had joined with trial counsel in a secret agreement. We affirm.

At the hearing on his petition for withdrawal, appellant testified:

"He [trial counsel] told me if I pleaded guilty to third degree I could get 20 years probation. . . . He said that him and the judge was all right. . . .

Q: Now, do you recall why at that time you didn't tell the judge about the 20 years probation?

A: Because [trial counsel] told me, he said, don't say that because that was between him and the judge and me and him and if I would say that that might mess something up. So I didn't say anything. He told me, don't say anything because im [sic] and the judge -- it was between him, me and the ...


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