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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DEBBIE ROSS A/K/A LOIS BARTLEBAUGH (02/11/81)

submitted: February 11, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
DEBBIE ROSS A/K/A LOIS BARTLEBAUGH, APPELLANT



No. 718 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, at No. 7803883A

COUNSEL

Sallie A. Radick, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Brosky, DiSalle and Shertz, JJ.

Author: Brosky

[ 289 Pa. Super. Page 106]

Following a jury trial, appellant was found guilty of promoting prostitution and criminal conspiracy and, following denial of post-trial motions, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. The sentence was stayed pending disposition of an appeal to our court. No appeal was ever filed; consequently, appellant was directed to begin serving her sentence. Appellant thereafter filed a petition under the Post Conviction Hearing Act (PCHA)*fn1 alleging the denial of her right to be represented by a competent lawyer, the denial of her right to appeal through failure to be informed of that right, and the obstruction of her appeal right by a

[ 289 Pa. Super. Page 107]

    state official. A hearing on the petition was held on July 10, 1980; on July 15, 1980, the petition was denied. This appeal followed.

The central issue for our determination is whether appellant was denied her right of appeal. The trial court found that she had waived her right of appeal. We affirm.

Appellant contends that she did not knowingly or voluntarily abandon or fail to exercise her right to appeal but, rather, that she was thwarted in her attempt to exercise her right by her attorney, who failed to take an appeal after being requested to do so. As a result, she argues, she was deprived of effective assistance of counsel.

The record shows that appellant's trial counsel, Mr. DeBroff, had been her attorney for a period of approximately four years, and that the relationship between them had been a good one. At the PCHA hearing, when asked his recollection with respect to whether or not his client wished to take an appeal following the denial of her post-trial motions, Mr. DeBroff stated:

I think, she wanted to take an appeal. In fact, I had indicated to her that there was merit in her doing so, as the questions raised . . . were substantial and in some ways novel . . . . We did discuss that at least on two occasions; one, on the 23rd after ...


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