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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM C. MUELLER (04/04/85)

filed: April 4, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM C. MUELLER, APPELLANT



No. 20 Pittsburgh, 1983, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of December 14, 1982 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, Nos. CC 7901904, OTN A394353-1, OTN A389927-6, CC 7901896

COUNSEL

Joseph S. Sabadish, Assistant Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Kemal A. Mericli, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Johnson, Cercone and Hester, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 275]

Appellant, William C. Mueller, was found guilty in a jury trial on March 2, 1982 of third degree murder and violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. On December 14, 1982, he was sentenced to a term of ten to twenty years imprisonment and a consecutive term of imprisonment of two and one-half to five years.

On March 12, 1982, counsel for appellant filed a Motion for New Trial/Arrest of Judgment. A brief in support of said Motion was filed on July 15, 1982 in which appellant requested leave to assert such additional reasons in support of the motion as might be revealed from a review of the trial transcript. The Commonwealth's Brief in Opposition to defendant's Motion was filed on November 19, 1982 and the Motion was denied by Order on that same date.

Following the judgment of sentence, the lower court entered an order granting appellant's trial counsel leave of court to withdraw his appearance and appointing the Office of the Public Defender to represent defendant on appeal. Nonetheless, on January 3, 1983, appellant filed a pro se Notice of Appeal and a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis

[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 276]

    in which he requested court appointed counsel.*fn1 On January 12, 1983, the Office of the Public Defender filed a Notice of Appeal. On January 5, 1983, the trial judge ordered appellant to file a brief and concise statement of matters to be complained of on appeal, pursuant to Rule 1925(b),*fn2 Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure. On January 26, 1983, the Public Defender's Office filed a Petition for Extension of Time for filing aforesaid brief averring that the trial transcripts had not yet been transcribed and filed by the court reporters.*fn3 The lower court granted that request, ordering an extension until ten days after the transcripts were filed.

On March 14, 1983, the trial judge filed a one page Opinion noting appellant's failure to comply with his earlier order. He further noted that he had made an independent examination of the record, but was unable to determine the exact nature of appellant's claims on appeal and that, therefore, he was unable to discuss them.

Thereafter, pursuant to appellant's request, the Public Defender petitioned this court to withdraw as counsel on April 22, ...


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