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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN L. GOLDEN (01/21/83)

filed: January 21, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOHN L. GOLDEN, APPELLANT



No. 139 Harrisburg, 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Criminal Division, at Nos. 1867-1929-1929A CD 1979

COUNSEL

Kenneth B. Skelly, Harrisburg, for appellant.

William A. Behe, Deputy District Attorney, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Brosky, McEwen and Beck, JJ.

Author: Brosky

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 288]

Appellant entered guilty pleas to two charges of robbery and one of criminal conspiracy on March 19, 1980. He was sentenced to terms of imprisonment of five to fifteen years on the robbery charges, the sentences to run concurrently, and five to ten years on the conspiracy count, also to be served concurrently. Restitution was also ordered. On appeal, Mr. Golden challenges the validity of the criminal informations filed against him and also alleges sentencing error. We affirm.

Appellant contends that the criminal informations were defective because they did not contain the signature of the District Attorney as is required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 225(b). The informations were affixed only with a "rubber stamp" facsimile of the signature of the District Attorney of Dauphin County. Recently, our court held that the mere stamping of signature does not satisfy the requirements of Rule 225(b). See Commonwealth v. Veneri, 306 Pa. Super. 396, 452 A.2d 784 (1982), in which we upheld an earlier decision of our court in Commonwealth v. Emanuel, 285 Pa. Super. 594, 428 A.2d 204 (1981), that the rubber stamp alone was not enough.

We agree, therefore, with appellant's contention that the information should have been signed. However, we find that any claim as to the deficiency has been waived.

Appellant raises this issue for the first time on appeal but argues that he may do so because the absence of a signature renders the information void ab initio. We expressly rejected this theory in Veneri, supra, in which we held that "the signature requirement of Pa.R.Crim.P. 225(b) is directory only and . . . its absence renders an information merely voidable and curable by amendment if properly raised in a pre-trial motion to quash," pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 306. (306 Pa. Super. 402, 452 A.2d at 788.)

We must conclude, as we did in Veneri, that since no pretrial motion to quash the informations was filed, appellant has waived this claim.

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 289]

We turn next to appellant's sentencing arguments.

It is clear that our scope of review is quite narrow as to the legality and propriety of a particular sentence. Sentencing is left to the discretion of the trial judge whose determination will be reversed only when the sentence exceeds the statutorily prescribed limits or is manifestly excessive. Commonwealth v. Lee, 450 Pa. 152, 299 A.2d 640 (1973). Great deference is given to the trial court's decision since it is in a far better position to weigh the various ...


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