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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RUSSELL WRIGHT (03/10/82)

decided: March 10, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RUSSELL WRIGHT, A/K/A AZIM MALAM ABDUL ALI, APPELLANT



No. 490 January Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, at Nos. 1242 & 1243 August Term, 1970, entered September 27, 1979.

COUNSEL

D. Webster Keogh, Philadelphia (Court-appointed), for appellant.

Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Michelle Goldfarb Lehr, Philadelphia, for appellee.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott and Hutchinson, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 497 Pa. Page 494]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia which dismissed the petition of appellant Russell Wright for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act, Act of January 25, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1580, ยง 1 et seq. Notwithstanding appellant's numerous allegations of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the record supports the determination of the PCHA court that appellant failed to prove his entitlement to relief. Hence, we affirm.

I

Appellant was arrested in May of 1970 on charges of assault with intent to ravish and murder of the first degree in connection with the death of Lorraine Miles, a thirteen-year old.*fn1 The victim died in March of 1970 as a result of a fall from the outside ledge of the living room window of her family's fourth-story apartment to the street below. Based

[ 497 Pa. Page 495]

    on interviews with children living at the Miles residence, police determined that, just before her fall, the victim had been trying to avoid the advances of appellant, who had been living at the apartment.

Appellant's trial counsel, John J. King, Esq., was appointed in the early part of July, 1970.*fn2 Following a preliminary hearing, conducted on July 22, 1970, appellant was held for trial.

Several continuances followed. In April of 1971, appellant filed a pro se "Application for Dismissal of Indictments" alleging that his right to a speedy trial had been violated. Appointed counsel filed a brief in support of the application and argued the matter on appellant's behalf. The court ...


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