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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ALI O'NEALEL (06/03/83)

filed: June 3, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ALI O'NEALEL, APPELLANT



No. 2055 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Criminal Division, at Nos. 3464 of 1978, 579 of 1979 and 832 of 1979.

COUNSEL

Henry J. Schireson, Wynnewood, for appellant.

Joseph A. Smyth, District Attorney, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cavanaugh, McEwen and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 2]

This appeal is taken from an order which summarily dismissed a petition for post-conviction relief filed by appellant, pro se. We vacate the order of the lower court and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Appellant was found guilty of burglary, criminal trespass and weapons charges on bills of information numbers 3464

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 3]

    and 3464.1 of 1978, following a jury trial which concluded on May 18, 1979. Pursuant to a plea agreement involving three further bills of information charging appellant with three other burglaries and related offenses committed in Montgomery County, appellant withdrew his motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial upon those charges of which he was found guilty at trial and agreed to combine that case, for sentencing purposes, with the three sets of charges on bills of information at numbers 579 of 1979, 832 of 1979 and 832.1 of 1979, upon which he agreed to enter pleas of guilty. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the district attorney was to recommend an aggregate sentence on the four sets of charges of not less than four and a half nor more than ten years, to run consecutively to any sentence then being served. After an extended guilty plea colloquy held on May 29, 1979, the Honorable Lawrence A. Brown accepted the guilty plea on bills of information at numbers 579 of 1979, 832 of 1979 and 832.1 of 1979, and sentenced appellant in accordance with the plea agreement to four concurrent terms of imprisonment of not less than four and a half nor more than ten years on the four bills of information,*fn1 to run consecutively to any sentence he was then serving. No direct appeal was taken.

Appellant, by undated letter received by the sentencing judge on June 18, 1979, informally requested reconsideration of his sentence and the trial judge refused the request in a letter to appellant without granting a hearing. Appellant then filed, on July 17, 1981, a pro se "Petition for the Writ of Error Coram Nobis and for the Appointment of Counsel,"*fn2 which was summarily dismissed by the trial

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 4]

    judge on the same date, without a hearing and without granting the request for appointment of counsel. Appellant filed this appeal from the order dismissing his pro se petition and counsel was appointed to assist him in this appeal.

We are disposed to treat the uncounseled petition of appellant for the writ of error coram nobis and for appointment of counsel as a request for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act,*fn3 since the procedure established therein encompasses "all common law and statutory procedures . . . including habeas corpus and coram nobis." 19 P.S. ยง 1180-2. See Commonwealth v. Sheehan, ...


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