No. 2206 Philadelphia, 1981, APPEAL FROM THE JUDGMENT OF SENTENCE OF AUG. 5, 1981 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF LUZERNE COUNTY, CRIMINAL NO. 591 OF 1981
Lawrence D. MacDonald, Wilkes-Barre, for appellant.
Chester B. Muroski, District Attorney, Wilkes-Barre, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Hester, Cavanaugh and Cirillo, JJ.
[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 408]
Appellant, Donna Morio, pleaded guilty on June 22, 1981 to the charges of simple assault,*fn1 escape,*fn2 and criminal conspiracy.*fn3 Appellant was sentenced on July 27, 1981 to imprisonment at the State Institutional Home for Women at Muncy for not less than three and one-half years nor more than seven years on the escape conviction. Appellant was sentenced on the simple assault conviction to a consecutive sentence of two years probation. Additionally, she was ordered to pay restitution to the victim of the assault for injuries sustained. On August 5, 1981, a petition to modify
[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 409]
sentence was denied by the trial court. This appeal followed.
On February 20, 1981, appellant, along with two other females, assaulted a matron at the Luzerne County Women's Detention Center. She was being detained there for return to the Gannondale School for Girls in Erie to which she had been previously committed by the Luzerne County Juvenile Court. She had escaped from the Gannondale School about one month prior to this incident.
The circumstances of the assault were that appellant wrapped a sweater around the matron's neck, and attempted to choke her. She urged the co-conspirators to kill the matron as they beat her about the face. Appellant took the matron's keys and escaped from the facility. On April 9, 1981, appellant was certified as an adult on these charges.
Appellant raises two questions on appeal: (1) was the imposition of the maximum term of imprisonment, by the trial court, on the escape conviction, manifestly excessive because it inflicted a severe punishment upon appellant; and, (2) was it proper for the trial court to sentence appellant to the State Institutional Home for Women when she was less than sixteen years of age at the time she pleaded guilty.
Initially we note the standard of review of the trial court's sentencing power as set forth in Commonwealth v. Doyle, 275 Pa. Super.Ct. 373, 380, 418 A.2d 1336 (1979):
Imposition of a proper sentence is a matter vested in the sound discretion of the trial court whose determination is to be respected unless it constitutes a manifest abuse of discretion (citations omitted) . . . In imposing sentence the court "must not overlook pertinent facts, disregard the force of the evidence, commit an error of law . . . or inflict punishment exceeding that prescribed by statute (citations omitted) . . . The court must consider the character of the defendant and the particular circumstances of the offense in light of the ...