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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RONALD COPPER (01/04/80)

filed: January 4, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RONALD COPPER, APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA V. DEBBIE COPPER, APPELLANT



No. 1029 April Term, 1978, No. 1030 April Term, 1978, Appeals from the Orders dated May 22, 1978, of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Westmoreland County, at Nos. 1680 and 1680(a) and 1617 October Term, 1976.

COUNSEL

Irving L. Bloom, Greensburg, for appellant in No. 1029.

James N. Falcon, Greensburg, for appellant in No. 1030.

Morrison F. Lewis, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Greensburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Wieand and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 395]

Ronald Copper entered pleas of guilty to two counts of corrupting a minor, and Debbie Copper entered a plea of guilty to one count of corrupting a minor.*fn1 Ronald was placed on probation for three years, and Debbie was placed on probation for one year. Thereafter they applied to the trial court to withdraw their guilty pleas, and a hearing was held. When their requests were denied, they appealed. Their appeals were consolidated for purposes of argument.

Ronald Copper had been charged initially with both statutory rape and corrupting a minor by giving alcoholic beverages to a fourteen year old girl. Debbie Copper was charged only with corrupting the child. A trial of both defendants resulted in a hung jury. Thereafter, plea bargains were entered, and pleas of guilty to corrupting a child were entered.

After sentence has been imposed, withdrawal of a guilty plea is mandated only where it is necessary to correct a manifest injustice. Commonwealth v. Bane, 272 Pa. Super. 160, 162, 414 A.2d 1056, 1057 (1979); Commonwealth v. Stokes, 264 Pa. Super. 515, 517-518, 400 A.2d 204, 205 (1979).

Debbie Copper showed no necessity for permitting the withdrawal of her guilty plea. She asserted merely that she had been subjectively confused about the nature of the plea. The colloquy, however, was full and complete and disclosed a plea of guilty that was entered knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. The lower court properly denied her motion to withdraw such a plea.

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 396]

The guilty pleas entered by Ronald Copper, however, suggest a different concern. He entered separate pleas to two counts of corrupting a minor. One count charged that he had supplied alcoholic beverages to the child; the other, intended to be a lesser offense than the charge of statutory rape, alleged that he had engaged in sexual conduct with the child. Appellant contended, in support of his request to withdraw his pleas of guilty, that he had not understood what he was pleading to and had not intended to plead guilty to any sexual contact or attempted sexual contact with the child. The record is clear that these offenses were not fully explained to appellant during the guilty plea colloquy. Significantly, the elements of the crime of corrupting a minor were never outlined for him.

In Commonwealth v. Ingram, 455 Pa. 198, 203-04, 316 A.2d 77, 80 (1974), the Supreme Court held that such ...


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