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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE JONES (02/10/84)

filed: February 10, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GEORGE JONES, JR., APPELLANT



No. 542 Pittsburgh 1982, APPEAL FROM THE PCHA ORDER OF APRIL 23, 1982 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, CRIMINAL NO. CC7700410

COUNSEL

John A. Halley, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Melinda G. Tell, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cavanaugh, Cirillo and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 324 Pa. Super. Page 360]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denying relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act (PCHA), 42 Pa.C.S. ยงยง 9541-9551.

In January of 1977 appellant George Jones and two cohorts held up an insurance company office in Pittsburgh. Police officers immediately apprehended the robbers after a

[ 324 Pa. Super. Page 361]

    shootout in the street behind the insurance office. For Jones the upshot came on October 18, 1977, when an Allegheny County jury found him guilty of three counts of robbery, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, and one count each of theft, aggravated assault, and criminal conspiracy. Jones was sentenced to an aggregate of thirty to sixty years in prison.

On direct appeal, we affirmed the judgment of sentence, and the Supreme Court denied allocatur on December 8, 1980.

On October 23, 1981, Jones filed a petition under the PCHA alleging a denial of his constitutional right to competent counsel. After a counseled evidentiary hearing, the court denied relief in an order dated April 23, 1982. We will affirm.

Jones first claims that the trial court denied him his right to counsel by refusing to continue the case so that Attorney Paul Gettleman could represent him. We rejected this precise claim on direct appeal. Commonwealth v. Jones, 289 Pa. Super. 556, 429 A.2d 59 (1980) (per curiam order). Therefore, the issue has been finally litigated in this Court and we will not address it again, Commonwealth v. Hobson, 286 Pa. Super. 271, 428 A.2d 987 (1981); Commonwealth v. Dyson, 249 Pa. Super. 503, 378 A.2d 408 (1977); Commonwealth v. Peetros, 245 Pa. Super. 84, 369 A.2d 305, 306 (1976), although the Supreme Court may still have the discretion to review the claim, see Commonwealth v. Tarver, 493 Pa. 320, 426 A.2d 569 (1981); but see Commonwealth v. Beecham, 450 Pa. 197, 299 A.2d 651 (1973).

Once the trial court denied a continuance, Jones elected to represent himself at trial. Nevertheless, the court directed public defender Frank Reilley to act as advisory counsel. Mr. Reilley had been serving Jones in that capacity in pretrial proceedings, and in addition represented Jones on direct appeal. ...


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