No. 80-2-269, Appeal, In Forma Pauperis, from the judgment of sentence order entered in this matter on the 21st day of May, 1979 in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, York, Pennsylvania, Criminal Division
H. Stanley Rebert, Public Defender, for appellant.
John C. Uhler, Dist. Atty., Wanda D. Neuhaus, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.
O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, Kauffman and Wilkinson, JJ.
Appellant was convicted by a jury of two counts of murder of the first degree on January 22, 1979.*fn1 Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to two concurrent terms of life imprisonment on May 21, 1979. At the sentencing, appellant informed the court that he was indigent and requested court appointed counsel to represent him on appeal and also expressed a desire to file additional post-trial motions. The trial court appointed new counsel and granted permission to file additional motions. Supplemental post-trial motions were then filed by the newly appointed counsel and by appellant pro se. After holding an evidentiary hearing to consider the issue of the ineffectiveness
of trial counsel,*fn2 the trial court entered an opinion and order denying the ineffectiveness claim as well as the other assignments of error set forth in the supplemental post-trial motions. This direct appeal followed.
The record establishes these undisputed facts. Appellant shot and killed two people with a high powered rifle on May 19, 1975. Specifically, after quarreling with the victims in his back yard, appellant entered his home, emerged on the balcony with a rifle and fired several shots which resulted in the death of both individuals. Appellant then left the balcony, fired an additional round into one of the bodies at close range, killed the victim's dog, piled the bodies on top of each other and walked into a nearby wooded area. State police apprehended appellant shortly thereafter as he exited the wooded area.
Appellant first argues that the trial court erred in refusing to suppress incriminating statements made to the state police shortly after his arrest on the grounds that he was incapable of knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waiving his Miranda*fn3 rights. Appellant maintains that the ingestion of a large quantity of drugs prior to the shootings so mentally and physically debilitated him that he was unable to effect a valid waiver of his constitutional rights. We do not agree.
'[I]ntoxication is a factor to be considered, but it is not sufficient, in and of itself to render the confession involuntary.' Commonwealth v. Jones, 457 Pa. 423, 432-33, 322 A.2d 119, 125 (1974). The test is whether there was sufficient mental capacity for the defendant to know what he was saying and to have voluntarily intended to say it. Commonwealth v. ...