March 11, 1983
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
GARY DOUGLAS BROCKLEHURST, APPELLANT
No. 1200 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Mercer County, No. 497 Criminal 1977.
Before Cavanaugh, Rowley and Montgomery, JJ.
Appellant Gary Douglas Brocklehurst was convicted of burglary by the Honorable John Q. Stranahan sitting without a jury. Judge Stranahan subsequently granted appellant's post-verdict motion for an arrest of judgment based on an alleged violation of Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100. On appeal, this court reversed that order and remanded the case for consideration of appellant's remaining post-verdict motions. Following remand, appellant's post-verdict motions were denied and he was sentenced to six to twelve months imprisonment. This appeal followed. We affirm.
On this appeal, appellant argues that the inculpatory statements he gave to the police should have been suppressed solely because of certain comments the officer made to appellant prior to his making the statements. Appellant was initially arrested around 3:00 p.m. on July 30, 1977, and was taken to the State Police Barracks in Mercer. At 4:40 p.m., Trooper Francis Grolemund advised appellant of his Miranda rights. Appellant stated that he understood those rights but was nevertheless willing to talk with the officer. Trooper Grolemund also told appellant he felt it was better to be honest and that he would advise the arraigning magistrate of appellant's cooperation. He also told appellant, however, that he, the trooper, had no control over what would happen regarding either appellant's bond or his ultimate sentence. Appellant gave an oral statement at this time. He was arraigned at approximately 7:00 p.m. and at 8:35 p.m. he signed a written waiver of his Miranda rights and gave a written statement which was essentially the same as his oral statement. The written statement was introduced at trial. Appellant did not testify either at the suppression hearing or at trial.
To determine whether an alleged waiver of Miranda rights is valid, the suppression court must look at the totality of the circumstances and decide whether the conditions were such as would "drain one's powers of resistance to suggestion and undermine his self-determination." Commonwealth v. Walker, 470 Pa. 534, 368 A.2d 1284 (1977). Appellant cites several cases where statements similar to those made by Trooper Grolemund played a part in determining that the defendant's confession was involuntary. In all of the cases where suppression was proper, however, other circumstances were also present which contributed to the finding of involuntariness. In Commonwealth v. Eiland, 450 Pa. 566, 301 A.2d 651 (1973), for example, the defendant had been subjected to intermittant interrogation over a period of seventeen hours, much of which was spent in isolation, and was told he should confess to "make it light on himself." In many other cases, the defendant had initially expressed a desire to consult with counsel before giving any statement. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Nathan, 445 Pa. 470, 285 A.2d 175 (1971). None of these additional factors are present in the instant case. Appellant had never indicated any unwillingness to talk to the police, there was no evidence of any physical coercion or of any untoward circumstances surrounding his custody (such as an unduly long period of custody), and there is testimony to support the suppression judge's finding that Trooper Grolemund's comments were made after appellant had agreed to waive his rights. Finally, we disagree with appellant's characterization of Trooper Grolemund's comment that he would advise the arraigning magistrate of appellant's cooperation as a promise of leniency. Appellant presented no evidence to rebut Trooper Grolemund's statement that he advised appellant that he had no control over the setting of appellant's bond and that he made no representations to appellant that his bond would be set lower if appellant cooperated. We believe that the circumstances in this case show that appellant knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his privilege against self-incrimination.
The judgment of sentence is affirmed.
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