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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. STEPHEN MITCHELL (01/05/81)

filed: January 5, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
STEPHEN MITCHELL



No. 3049 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Criminal Section of Philadelphia County, Granting Appellee's Petition to Dismiss and Discharge Appellee on Information Nos. 1809-1814, May Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

Steven H. Goldblatt, Deputy District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Elaine DeMasse, Deputy Chief Public Defender, Leonard Sosnov, Assistant Defender, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Hester, Montgomery and Cirillo, JJ.*fn*

Author: Montgomery

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 458]

This case involves an appeal by the Commonwealth from an order granting the appellee's petition to dismiss pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100. In order to address the Commonwealth's argument, we must set forth the procedural history of this case pertinent hereto.

Appellee, age seventeen, was arrested on February 4, 1978 and charged in a criminal complaint with a robbery and shooting which occurred on February 3, 1978 in Philadelphia.*fn1 On the same day, February 4, 1978, appellee was also arrested for a murder offense which likewise occurred on February 3, 1978.

When appellee was arrested for the robbery, the Commonwealth noted that he was in fact a juvenile. Apparently, the Commonwealth proceeded to initiate criminal proceedings against him in adult criminal court because he was being charged simultaneously with murder. A charge of homicide empowers the court to remove a juvenile from the jurisdiction of Juvenile Court.*fn2 However, although the murder occurred on the same day as the robbery, it was unrelated to the incident in question.

The Commonwealth realized the charges were separate one week later, and filed a delinquency petition on February 10, 1978, requesting that the robbery case be transferred to Juvenile Court for a hearing on whether appellee should be tried as an adult. On February 22, 1978, the case was so

[ 283 Pa. Super. Page 459]

    transferred to Juvenile Court,*fn3 but as a result of numerous delays on both sides, the certification hearing was only held on May 22, 1978. At that time, the charges were certified for transfer to the criminal trial division of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

The disposition of appellee's case is a familiar story, replete with delays and continuances attributable to both sides.

On September 13, 1978, 218 days after the filing of the criminal complaint, appellee petitioned to dismiss pursuant to Rule 1100, contending that the time period within to commence trial had expired without appellee being brought to trial.*fn4 Appellee's petition to dismiss the robbery and related charges was ...


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