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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT FREDERICK HAZEN (06/17/83)

filed: June 17, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT FREDERICK HAZEN, APPELLANT



NO. 107 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County, Criminal, at No. 57 February Term, 1977.

COUNSEL

John H. Yoder, Smethport, for appellant.

Jay Paul Kahle, Smethport, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Hester, Beck and Van der Voort, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 559]

Robert Frederick Hazen appeals from the lower court's denial of his PCHA Petition. Finding no merit in appellant's contentions, we affirm.

On September 12, 1977, appellant entered a counseled guilty plea to the general charge of murder. Following a degree of guilt hearing, the lower court determined appellant guilty of third degree murder and sentenced him to 10-to-20 years imprisonment. Appellant took no direct appeal, but subsequently filed this petition challenging the voluntariness of his guilty plea and the effectiveness of his guilty plea counsel. The lower court held two evidentiary hearings and denied the petition, prompting this appeal.

Appellant's Petition claims (1) that the colloquy preceding his guilty plea was defective; and (2) that he was denied effective assistance of counsel. The specific allegations regarding the guilty plea are that he was not advised of the various degrees of homicide or the requirement of "malice," that he was not asked all the questions required by Pa.R.Crim.P. 319, that he was under a tranquilizing drug at the

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 560]

    time of the entry of his plea, and that he was not advised of the right of counsel on appeal.*fn1

Rule 319 mandates that the trial court conduct an on-the-record examination of the defendant which establishes that the plea is voluntarily and understandingly tendered. The comment to the rule requires that the colloquy between the court and the accused elicit the following information:

(1) Does the defendant understand the nature of the charges to which he ...


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