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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ANTHONY ROBERT MANGINI (02/05/81)

decided: February 5, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
ANTHONY ROBERT MANGINI, APPELLANT



No. 502 E.D. Misc. Docket 1980, Appeal from the Order of Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Penna. Commonwealth vs. Mangini, No. 1980-45, dated May 21, 1980, Appeal from the Order of Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Penna. Commonwealth vs. Mangini, No. 1980-45, dated June 18, 1980

COUNSEL

James L. Jubelirer, State College, for appellant.

Richard A. Hernan, Jr., Dist. Atty., for appellee.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Roberts and Nix, JJ., concurred in the result.

Author: Larsen

[ 493 Pa. Page 205]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This case has a lengthy history. On February 12, 1976, Jason Jones was murdered in his room at the Warren State Hospital where he was a patient. Appellant, Anthony R. Mangini, was tried for that murder and, on June 27, 1976, was convicted by a jury of murder in the first degree.

On direct appeal, this Court affirmed the conviction in an opinion written by this author. Commonwealth v. Mangini, 478 Pa. 147, 386 A.2d 482 (1978). In that opinion, we held, inter alia, that certain search warrants issued were supported by probable cause. We further declined to consider the competency of the key Commonwealth witness, Jessie Floyd Crossley, as that issue had been waived by trial counsel (who also served as direct appeal counsel).

Subsequently, new and present counsel filed a petition requesting a new trial under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (PCHA), Act of January 25, 1966, 19 P.S. §§ 1180-1 -- 1180-14 (since repealed, Act of April 28, 1978, P.L. 202, No. 53 § 2(a) [1397], effective June 27, 1980). PCHA counsel asserted the ineffectiveness of trial/appellate counsel in several particulars. A PCHA hearing was held in the Court of Common Pleas of Warren County following which the PCHA court denied the petition finding trial/appellate counsel to have been effective.

That denial was then reversed on appeal by a panel of the Superior Court.*fn1 Commonwealth v. Mangini, 50 Special Transfer Docket, Pittsburgh District 1979. The Superior Court held prior counsel ineffective for failing to either request a competency hearing or to enter an objection on the

[ 493 Pa. Page 206]

    record to the witness Crossley's competency to testify. mem. opinion at 6. That court also found counsel's overall stewardship of the trial presented an overwhelming appearance of ineffectiveness. Id. at 6, n.2. Consequently, a new trial was ordered.

Prior to retrial, appellant filed a motion to suppress certain evidence. The Commonwealth responded with a motion to quash which motion was granted by the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County.*fn2 Also, a competency hearing had been held at which it was determined that the witness Jessie Floyd Crossley was incompetent to testify at the upcoming trial. The Commonwealth then filed a motion to adopt the prior testimony of that witness, which motion was also granted. Appellant Mangini appeals from both of these interlocutory orders, both of which have been certified by the lower court as involving a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and as to which immediate appeal may materially advance the ultimate termination of the ...


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