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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HELEN PATRICIA DAVIS (12/14/82)

decided: December 14, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
HELEN PATRICIA DAVIS, APPELLANT



No. 80-3-351, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County at Criminal No. 0348-71.

COUNSEL

John R. Merrick, Public Defender, Janet W. Mason, Dennis Brogan, Asst. Public Defenders, for appellant.

Donald A. Mancini, Alan Jarvis, Asst. Dist. Attys., for appellee.

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

Author: Per Curiam

[ 499 Pa. Page 283]

OPINION

Appellant, Helen Patricia Davis, was convicted by a jury of murder of the third degree. Post-verdict motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to a prison term of one and one-half years. This direct appeal followed.

At trial, appellant was represented by privately-retained counsel. Presently, appellant is represented by the Office of the Public Defender of Chester County. On this appeal, appellant alleges nine instances of trial error, three of which challenge the stewardship of appellant's trial counsel.

As we stated in Commonwealth ex rel. Washington v. Maroney, 427 Pa. 599, 604, 235 A.2d 349, 351-352 (1967):

". . . counsel's assistance is deemed constitutionally effective once we are able to conclude that the particular course chosen had some reasonable basis designed to effectuate his client's interests. The test is not whether other alternatives were more reasonable, employing a hindsight evaluation of the record."

(Emphasis in original). Instantly, however, no evidentiary hearing has been held allowing trial counsel to explain his actions at trial. The record, therefore, is incomplete insofar

[ 499 Pa. Page 284]

    as this Court must review the basis for counsel's actions in analyzing appellant's claims of ...


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