No. 80-3-417, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, Trial Division - Criminal Section at July Term, 1974 Nos. 177-178
Patrick J. Broderick, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Robert B. Lawler, Mattleman, Asst. Dist. Attys., for appellee.
O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, Kauffman and Wilkinson, JJ.
On August 19, 1974, appellant appeared before the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia and pleaded guilty to robbery and to murder generally. The "summary of testimony"
presented by the Commonwealth following the court's acceptance of the plea indicated that on April 11, 1974 appellant entered Stoney's Bar with two others and, at knifepoint, forced the bartender to remove money from the cash register. Appellant then stabbed the bartender in the stomach. After being stabbed, the bartender grabbed a rifle which he kept behind the bar and shot appellant in the back. Both men collapsed behind the bar. The bartender died eleven days*fn1 later from the stab wound. Appellant was charged with possessing instruments of crime, criminal conspiracy, robbery and murder in connection with this incident.
Appellant entered his plea pursuant to a plea bargain wherein the Commonwealth nol prossed the conspiracy and possessing instruments of crime charges and certified that the homicide rose no higher than murder of the third degree. Appellant was then sentenced to concurrent terms of ten to twenty years on both the murder and the robbery charge. No direct appeal was taken from the judgments of sentence.
Appellant subsequently filed a petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act*fn2 (PCHA). Amended petitions were also filed raising various allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. An evidentiary hearing was held on March 26, 1979 and relief was denied on January 11, 1980. This appeal, which raises the single issue of whether appellant received effective assistance of counsel before entering his plea, followed.
Specifically, appellant contends that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered in that is was based solely upon the advice of counsel who was ineffective in failing to conduct an independent pretrial investigation ...