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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT J. CAMPBELL (01/07/83)

filed: January 7, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT J. CAMPBELL, APPELLANT



No. 516 PITTSBURGH, 1981, Appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, No. 4407 May Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Howard K. Hilner, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Dara A. DeCourcy, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Hester, McEwen and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 216]

On March 13, 1972, the appellant, Robert J. Campbell, entered the retail jewelry store of Lebuskes and Sons, Jewelers, in the Borough of Swissvale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with an accomplice and armed with a shotgun. Bernard Lebuskes and his mother, Ann Lebuskes, were in the store at that time.

Both the appellant and accomplice attempted to forcibly remove a box of rings from Ann Lebuskes's grasp. Ann Lebuskes refused to release the box; consequently, the appellant struck her arm with the shotgun thereby forcing her to release it. Having gained possession of the box, the two men then directed both victims to the rear of the store. Mrs. Lebuskes was ordered to sit on the floor and submit to the taping of her hands behind her back; Bernard Lebuskes was ordered to lie on the floor and submit to the taping of his hands and feet. The appellant and accomplice then rifled the safe lock and removed the contents of the safe. The personal property removed by the appellant and his accomplice included nine trays of assorted diamond rings and mountings, an undetermined number of birthstone rings, twenty-four Bulova watches, five Accutron watches,

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 217]

    and one-hundred dollars in United States currency. The total value of these items was in excess of $9,000.00.

Immediately after the two men left the premises, a young man, who was cleaning the back area of the store and went undetected, emerged and helped the victims to free themselves. Bernard Lebuskes promptly notified the police.

Bernard Lebuskes positively identified the appellant among several men composing a line-up organized by the Allegheny County Detective Bureau. Appellant was thereafter taken into custody and charged with one count of armed robbery and one count of receiving stolen goods.

On September 14, 1972, before the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, the appellant entered a plea of guilty to both charges. Following a court-conducted guilty plea colloquy, the appellant was sentenced to a total term of imprisonment of ten to twenty years. Neither post trial motions nor an appeal was filed by the appellant. Instead, on February 5, 1981, the appellant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea nunc pro tunc. In response to this motion, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County issued a rule to show cause upon the Commonwealth asking why a hearing should not be held on the appellant's motion to withdraw. The Commonwealth filed a timely answer to the motion and the appellant responded by filing an amended motion to withdraw said plea. On April 21, 1981, after due consideration of appellant's original and amended motions to withdraw and the Commonwealth's timely answer, the lower court ruled that the appellant's motion to withdraw his plea was meritless as well as untimely, discharged the rule to show cause and denied the motion to withdraw. It is from that Order that appellant appeals.

The appellant attacks the validity of the guilty plea colloquy conducted by the lower court. Specifically, he maintains its inadequacy due to the court's alleged failure to include a thorough description of the elements of the two charges brought against him, of the elements involved in a jury trial, and of his right to ...


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