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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MAXIMINO CRUZ PEREZ (06/22/84)

filed: June 22, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MAXIMINO CRUZ PEREZ, APPELLANT



No. 2186 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Delaware County at No. 5894-81.

COUNSEL

Brian S. Quinn, Havertown, for appellant.

Sandra L. Elias, Deputy District Attorney, Media, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Montemuro and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 328 Pa. Super. Page 495]

On October 25, 1981 at approximately 12:15 a.m., the body of Luisa Vazquez was discovered at 807 Madison Street, Chester, Pennsylvania in the second floor bathroom. Ms. Vazquez's throat had been slashed with a knife, the obvious victim of a homicide. Chester Police officers and detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division arrived on the scene and conducted an investigation. After interviewing the family, including the defendant, and reviewing the physical evidence, defendant was arrested on October 25, 1981 and charged with homicide. On December 7, 1981, defendant was arraigned and informations were filed. On March 23, 1982 a jury trial began before the Honorable Domenic D. Jerome on the charge of first degree murder with Michael Malloy representing the defendant. The Commonwealth was not seeking the death penalty. On March 25, 1983, the jury found the defendant guilty of first degree

[ 328 Pa. Super. Page 496]

    murder. Defendant's timely post-trial motions were denied by Judge Jerome on June 23, 1983. On July 21, 1983, defendant was sentenced to life in prison, and on July 21, 1983 defendant filed a timely notice of appeal, pro se. Brian S. Quinn, Esquire was appointed to represent defendant on appeal.

Appellant frames the statement of questions involved in the following manner:

I. Should a mistrial be granted where a prosecutor makes prejudicial and inflammatory remarks during the opening statement?

II. Did the trial counsel's failure to use a reliable, independent interpreter at all stages of the matter constitute ineffective assistance of counsel?

III. Did trial counsel's failure to advise appellant of his right to participate in the selection of the jury constitute ineffective assistance of counsel?

IV. Did trial counsel's decision to have appellant testify at trial without adequately preparing that aspect of the case despite appellant's reluctance to testify ...


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