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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES CUTILLO (01/22/82)

filed: January 22, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
JAMES CUTILLO, APPELLANT



No. 2387 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Chester County, No. 0582 of 1977.

COUNSEL

Robert Donatoni, Assistant Public Defender, West Chester, for appellant.

Joseph W. Carroll, III, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Spaeth, Popovich and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Montgomery

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 561]

This appeal arises from the denial of appellant's Petition to Reduce and Remit Costs of Prosecution assessed following conviction on charges of burglary, recklessly endangering another person, and terroristic threats.

According to the facts as stipulated to by the parties, the appellant, James Cutillo, was hospitalized on March 4, 1977, with gunshot wounds received during his commission of several criminal offenses. An attempt was made to place the appellant in a secure hospital, but that hospital refused to admit him. The Pennsylvania State Police then contacted the Chester County District Attorney's office for instructions,

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 562]

    as neither they nor the Chester County detectives had the manpower to guard the appellant at the time.

An Assistant District Attorney determined that the appellant should be guarded during his hospitalization. This decision was based on the fact that the appellant faced serious charges, was not yet under arrest, and had a prior criminal record. In addition, it was not clear as to whether the appellant would or could leave the hospital as the extent of his injuries were not then known. As a result, arrangements were made with a constable service to provide guards for appellant. These individuals guarded the appellant from March 5, 1977 through March 17, 1977. Bills for their services were submitted to the Chester County Controller's Office, and payment was authorized. The appellant was arrested at the hospital on March 7, 1977, and was subsequently convicted. Appellant was sentenced and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution, including the expenses incurred in guarding him during his hospitalization.

Appellant contends that he was improperly charged with the costs of guards during his hospitalization. We disagree.

This case is governed by Section 64 of the Act of March 31, 1860, P.L. 427*fn1 which provides, inter alia, ". . . in all cases of conviction of any crime, all costs shall be paid by the party convicted." Part of the costs taxable against a convicted defendant are all necessary expenses incurred by the District Attorney in the investigation of crime and the apprehension and prosecution of persons charged with or suspected of the commission of crime. Act of August 9, 1955, P.L. 323, § 1403, 16 P.S. § 1403.

Thus, we are asked to resolve the question of whether the costs incurred in guarding appellant during his hospitalization were necessary for the appellant's ...


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