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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE WILLIAM SANGRICCO (05/30/80)

decided: May 30, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GEORGE WILLIAM SANGRICCO, APPELLANT



No. 160 March Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County, Criminal Division, dated September 11, 1979, at No. 15 August Term, 1973.

COUNSEL

George Sangricco, in pro. per.

Phillip L. Wein, Sp. Prosecutor, Clarion, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 490 Pa. Page 128]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant George Sangricco brings this pro se appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County dismissing, without a hearing, his second uncounselled petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, Act of January 25, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1580, § 1 et seq., 19 P.S. § 1180-1 et seq. (Supp.1979). Without reaching the merits of appellant's present claims, it must be concluded that summary dismissal, without hearing, of appellant's second uncounselled petition was improper.

In March of 1974, a jury found appellant guilty of voluntary manslaughter, felonious aggravated assault, and two firearms violations in connection with the shooting death of Ronald Girts. After denying appellant's post-verdict motions, the court of common pleas suspended sentence on the aggravated assault conviction but imposed sentence of four to ten years imprisonment on the manslaughter conviction and a concurrent sentence of one and one-half to three years on the firearms violations. On appeal, represented by trial counsel, appellant challenged a search warrant authorizing police administration of a "Neutron Activation Analysis" test designed to determine if appellant had fired a weapon. Appellant also challenged the failure of the trial court to suppress a statement appellant gave police on the ground

[ 490 Pa. Page 129]

    that he was not informed of the general nature of the charges against him. See Commonwealth v. Richman, 458 Pa. 167, 320 A.2d 351 (1974). This Court unanimously rejected appellant's contentions and affirmed. 475 Pa. 179, 379 A.2d 1342 (1977).

In July of 1978, appellant filed a pro se petition for PCHA relief. Among other things, appellant's pro se petition sought to frame several objections to the alleged ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Appellant also contended that the prosecuting attorney improperly deprived appellant of two material witnesses, including the victim's wife (appellant's girlfriend) and the mother of the victim, allegedly subpoenaed as a defense witness but told by the prosecuting attorney to disregard the subpoena and "go home." In his pro se petition, appellant stated his claims were not "finally litigated" or "waived" (see section 3(d) of the PCHA, 19 P.S. § 1180-3(d)) because:

"I had/have no learned knowledge or understanding of the laws and depended upon the Court, the Commonwealth and, my counsel, to afford me and the case due process of the laws, and the equal protection of the laws.

The records, in totality, will adequately show that at no time did I knowingly, intelligently, or understandingly, waive any issue of which prevailed during these Commonwealth's prosecutions. I emphasized and repeatedly proclaimed my innocence and, reserved my right to be afforded both, the due process ...


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