No. 1083 Philadelphia, 1984, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Criminal Division, No. 1476 of 1980
William H. Mitman, Jr., West Chester, for appellant.
Eric G. Marttila, Assistant District Attorney, Doylestown, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Cirillo, Montemuro and Tamilia, JJ.
[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 109]
Appellant, Michael Lloyd, brings this appeal from judgment of sentence of ten to twenty years imprisonment for his conviction on charges of robbery and related offenses. Appellant's post-trial motions had been dismissed by the lower court because appellant was a fugitive, and sentence was imposed without a ruling on appellant's application to reinstate. On appeal to our Court, we granted the application to reinstate post-verdict motions, vacated judgment of sentence and remanded with instructions to the lower court to hear argument on post-trial motions and to hold a hearing on a motion for new trial based on after-discovered evidence. Commonwealth v. Lloyd, 319 Pa. Super. 6, 465 A.2d 1025 (1983). On remand, the lower court, after a hearing, denied appellant's motions and imposed sentence. This appeal followed.
The issue on appeal is whether the criminal charges against appellant, who was in temporary custody of Pennsylvania authorities pursuant to the procedures prescribed by Article IV of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act,*fn1 must be dismissed because he was released to federal authorities without first being tried on the charges.*fn2 We
[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 110]
hold that under the circumstances presented in this case, the Detainers Act does not require dismissal of the charges, even though appellant was released to federal authorities before ultimately being tried. Accordingly, we affirm.
A chronological statement of the facts is as follows. On March 21, 1980, a criminal complaint was filed against appellant charging him with robbery and related offenses in connection with a robbery of the Union National Bank and Trust Company in Milford Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Appellant's known residence was in New Jersey, and he was arrested there by New Jersey police on or about March 26, 1980 and placed in Monmouth County jail. The Bucks County criminal complaint had been served upon appellant as a fugitive warrant. Appellant was taken before the local court and advised of his extradition rights. Appellant chose not to waive the right to contest extradition and he was returned to the Monmouth County jail. An application for requisition was completed by the Bucks County District Attorney's Office and necessary documents were sent to the State of New Jersey. On April 14, 1980, Monmouth County officials informed the Bucks County District Attorney's Office by letter that it had executed a fugitive warrant on behalf of Bucks County against the appellant and that the warrant would act as a detainer. It was also informed that appellant refused to waive extradition and to await further instructions as to when to retrieve appellant. Unbeknownst to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, appellant posted bail on the fugitive complaint and was released from the Monmouth County jail. On or about April 22, 1980, appellant was arrested by federal authorities on charges that he had violated the terms of his federal parole. Appellant was subsequently sentenced by the United States District Court of New Jersey to five years imprisonment. Appellant was temporarily held at the Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) in New York City in the custody of the Attorney General, Bureau of Prisons. On June 2, 1980, appellant was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) at Ashland,
[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 111]
Kentucky to serve his sentence. On July 31, 1980, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office learned that appellant was incarcerated in the FCI at Ashland. At this time, its extradition efforts were abandoned in favor of other procedures pursuant to the Detainers Act. On September 2, 1980, a Form 5 under the Detainers Act was sent by Bucks County to officials at the FCI at Ashland requesting temporary custody of appellant. On September 10, 1980, a bench warrant was issued by the Bucks County court when appellant failed to appear for his scheduled trial on the pending charges. This warrant was sent to the FCI at Ashland. On September 17, 1980, officials at Ashland notified the Bucks County Sheriff's Office by a Detainer Action letter that the bench warrant had been received and lodged against appellant as a detainer. Subsequently, for reasons undisclosed by the record, Ashland officials informed the Bucks County District Attorney's Office that they had no detainer on file before having received the Form 5 from Bucks County. Under these circumstances, Ashland officials requested a second Form 5 be sent to serve as Bucks County's official request for temporary custody of appellant. The second Form 5 was sent on September 26, 1980.
Bucks County's actions were for naught as on October 15, 1980, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office was informed that Chester County had assumed temporary custody of appellant on October 10 pursuant to the Detainers Act in order to prosecute appellant on separate charges pending in that county. Appellant, now in Pennsylvania, was arraigned on the Bucks County charges on November 7. Trial was set for November 17 but was continued since appointed counsel for the appellant was involved in another trial. At the next trial listing of December 1, appellant requested a continuance because of his belief that appointed counsel was unprepared and to enable him to retain a private attorney. The case was continued ...