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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT IRVIN WALTERS (05/15/81)

filed: May 15, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
ROBERT IRVIN WALTERS, APPELLANT



No. 951 April Term, 1979, Appeal from the Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, Criminal, entered at August 22, 1979 and Modified October 1, 1979 at Nos. 53, 55B and 56B Criminal 1979.

COUNSEL

William R. Hughes, Somerset, for appellant.

George B. Kaufman, Assistant District Attorney, Somerset, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Spaeth, Johnson and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 287 Pa. Super. Page 54]

On August 20, 1979, appellant, Robert Walters, entered pleas of guilty to charges of theft and burglary. The court imposed a sentence of three (3) to seven (7) years each on the theft offenses (Nos. 53 and 56B of 1979, respectively), ten (10) to twenty(20) years on the burglary offense at 56B of 1979, and two (2) to five (5) years on the theft offense at 55B of 1979. These sentences, with the exception of the theft offense at 55B, were to run concurrently. Appellant was also ordered to make restitution on all charges and to pay the costs of prosecution. Thereafter, appellant filed a motion for reconsideration of sentence which was denied in part and granted in part by the trial court.*fn1

[ 287 Pa. Super. Page 55]

The single issue raised by appellant on appeal is that the sentences imposed were manifestly excessive. However, because we cannot ascertain from the record before us the trial court's reasons for the sentence, the judgments of sentence must be vacated and the matter remanded for resentencing.

This Court has restated often the guidelines for reviewing a claim by a defendant that the sentence was illegal:

"It is settled that the imposition of a proper sentence is a matter vested in the sound discretion of the sentencing judge. Commonwealth v. Valentin, 259 Pa. Super. 496, 393 A.2d 935 (1978). In exercising this discretion, however, the judge must rely on full and accurate information and must state on the record the reasons for the sentences imposed. Commonwealth v. Riggins, [474 Pa. 115, 377 A.2d 140 (1977)]; Commonwealth v. Wicks, 265 Pa. Super. 305, 401 A.2d 1223 (1979). This statement of reasons must show that in imposing sentence, the judge attached weight to the factors set forth in the statutory guidelines for sentencing, and carefully considered the facts concerning the circumstances of the offense and the character of the defendant. Commonwealth v. Wicks, supra." Commonwealth v. Maxwell, 280 Pa. Super. 235, 242-43, 421 A.2d 699, 703.

Although the trial court commented on "the character of the defendant" when it said at the sentencing hearing and in the opinion that appellant had a "very heavy record",*fn2 the

[ 287 Pa. Super. Page 56]

    only evidence "concerning the circumstances of the offense" was introduced by a police officer who testified to the factual circumstances surrounding the burglaries and the thefts. Sentencing Hearing at pp. 2-5. At ...


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