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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RAYMOND C. SCOTT (03/28/80)

filed: March 28, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RAYMOND C. SCOTT, APPELLANT



No. 1118 APRIL TERM, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, at Nos. C.A. 105 June Term, 1975 and C.A. 64 September Term, 1975, Criminal Division.

COUNSEL

Peter H. Shaffer, Butler, for appellant.

Robert F. Hawk, Assistant District Attorney, Butler, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Van der Voort, Spaeth and Watkins, JJ. Spaeth, J., files a concurring and dissenting opinion.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 479]

Appellant Raymond C. Scott was arrested on March 25, 1975, charged at No. 105 June Term, 1975, with rape, kidnapping, assault, and conspiracy. Appellant escaped from Butler County Prison on June 25, 1975, but was re-arrested and brought before the court on June 30, 1975. On that date, appellant pleaded guilty to the charges at No. 105 and also, at a separate proceeding, at No. 64 September Term, 1975, to charges of escape, implements of escape, aggravated assault, and theft. Appellant filed a petition on August 8, 1975 for permission to withdraw his pleas, but verbally withdrew the petition in open court on August 15, at which time sentence totaling twelve to twenty-five years imprisonment was imposed.

Appellant took no direct appeal, but on September 28, 1976 filed a PCHA petition alleging an involuntary guilty plea and ineffective assistance of counsel. The lower court denied the petition by Order dated January 6, 1977, without

[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 480]

    granting a hearing. By Order dated September 27, 1977, our court vacated the lower court's Order of January 6, and remanded the case to the court below for the appointment of new counsel to assist appellant with his PCHA petition, and for a full evidentiary hearing on the petition. Hearing was held on March 16, 1978, and the petition was dismissed by Order dated April 25, 1978. By Order dated June 27, 1978, our court granted appellant leave to file an appeal nunc pro tunc, which appeal was filed with our court on July 7, 1978.*fn1

Appellant argues that his guilty pleas were not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered, since the elements of the crimes charged were not explained on the record at the time appellant entered his pleas. In Commonwealth v. Ingram, 455 Pa. 198, 204, 316 A.2d 77, 80 (1974), our Supreme Court expressly held that:

"However, our finding of a sufficient 'factual basis' does not necessarily mean that defendant 'understood the nature of the charges against him.' While it is permissible for a defendant to enter a valid guilty plea even if he does not expressly admit every element of the crime, a valid guilty plea may not be accepted in the absence of a demonstration of defendant's understanding of the charges. Commonwealth v. Campbell, 451 Pa. 465, 304 A.2d 121 (1973)."

In the course of entering his guilty plea in the instant case the defendant filed a "Petition to Enter Plea of Guilty". His petition is part of the ...


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