No. 6 May Term, 1979, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas at No. 1149 Criminal Division 1978, dated January 17, 1979.
Marilyn C. Zilli, Asst. Public Defender, for appellant.
Marion E. MacIntyre, First Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.
Appellant Linda Jo Edrington entered a guilty plea to the charge of murder and was found guilty of murder of the third degree. At a later hearing judgment of sentence of not less than six nor more than fifteen years imprisonment was imposed. Appellant timely moved to withdraw her guilty plea alleging it was involuntary and, alternatively, to modify the sentence on the ground that it is excessive. The motions were denied and this appeal follows. The only claim now pressed is that the judgment of sentence is excessive. We disagree and hence affirm.
The July 1978 killing giving rise to this prosecution was the culmination of an extended argument between appellant and the victim. The argument had begun two days earlier and concerned some clothing that appellant was making for the victim.*fn1 During these two days appellant heard from friends that the victim was still angry with appellant and was making threats. On the day of the killing appellant and the victim happened to meet in a laundromat where their argument continued. According to appellant's subsequent statement to the police, she was nervous and scared and tried to conciliate the victim by offering to make some new clothes. Appellant told the victim to stop by her apartment later that afternoon.
In the meanwhile appellant left the laundromat, obtained a gun from her apartment and returned to the laundromat for her clothing. Appellant then went home again. Later that afternoon appellant shot the victim as the latter entered appellant's apartment. As appellant later recounted it:
"I sat at home waiting, wondering if to shoot [the victim] was the right thing to do. Then I thought if I don't, she'll keep picking with me and refuse to leave me alone. About 4:40, [the victim] walked in the door and I shot her."*fn2
Appellant apparently made immediate efforts to call an ambulance and to contact the police. When the police arrived appellant admitted to the incident at the outset and was fully cooperative. The victim was shot only once, in the right shoulder, and was promptly taken to the local hospital. Nevertheless, shock and hemorrhaging from the wound caused death that night.
Before trial appellant sought to suppress a written statement obtained from her late that night by the police. But when the statement was ruled admissible, appellant entered into a plea agreement with the Commonwealth.*fn3 In return for appellant's plea of guilty to murder generally the Commonwealth agreed not to certify the case as one of ...