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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. VINCENT COURTS (03/24/83)

submitted: March 24, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
VINCENT COURTS, APPELLANT



No. 104 Harrisburg 1982, APPEAL FROM THE PCHA ORDER OF FEBRUARY 9, 1982 IN TH COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF DAUPHIN COUNTY, CRIMINAL NO. 1545 C.D. 1975

COUNSEL

John Francis Lyons, Harrisburg, for appellant.

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

Cercone, P.j., and Cirillo and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 317 Pa. Super. Page 273]

Presently before this Court is an appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, dated February 9, 1982, denying appellant's post-trial motions filed nunc pro tunc.

On June 12, 1975, appellant was brought before the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County and sentenced on two prior convictions.*fn1 Following the imposition of sentence, while the appellant was being transported from the courtroom back to the court house detention area, the appellant attempted to flee from official custody. The deputy sheriffs escorting appellant ordered him to halt, but appellant continued to run down the stairwell and outside the court house. After firing a warning shot, a deputy sheriff shot the appellant. His wound notwithstanding, the appellant fought police efforts to subdue him but was finally taken into custody and brought to a hospital.

Based on these facts, on August 5, 1975, the appellant was indicted by the Dauphin County Grand Jury on a charge of escape,*fn2 and on October 30, 1975, the appellant was convicted by a jury of this charge. No post-trial

[ 317 Pa. Super. Page 274]

    motions were filed. On November 26, 1975, the appellant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than three and one-half nor more than seven years. No direct appeal was taken following sentencing.

On or about February 2, 1981, appellant filed a petition for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act.*fn3 The PCHA Court appointed new counsel, and on April 21, 1981, the appellant filed a supplemental petition for relief under the Act alleging inter alia that his trial counsel was ineffective for having failed to file post-trial motions. Pursuant to this allegation, on October 16, 1981, the PCHA Court ordered that the appellant be granted the right to file post-trial motions nunc pro tunc and on October 28, 1981, appointed new counsel to represent the appellant in this matter. These motions were filed and subsequently denied on February 9, 1982. It is from the denial of these post-trial motions that the present appeal is taken.

Appellant raises several issues regarding the use of a rubber-stamp facsimile signature of the district attorney on the indictment which charged him with escape. First, the appellant contends that the application of a rubber-stamp facsimile signature rendered the indictment null and void. We find this contention to be without merit.

Pa.R.Crim.P. Rule 213(a) provides that "[a]n indictment shall be signed by the attorney for the Commonwealth . . . ."*fn4 Whether a rubber-stamp facsimile constitutes a "signature" under Rule 213(a) has not been specifically addressed by the courts of this Commonwealth. Appellant strongly urges this Court to apply to indictments the rule which requires a ...


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