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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. LAWRENCE WEAVER (05/15/87)

filed: May 15, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
LAWRENCE WEAVER, APPELLANT



APPEAL FROM THE JUDGMENT OF SENTENCE OF THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, CRIMINAL NOS. 2973, 2974, 2976 FEBRUARY TERM, 1984.

COUNSEL

Anthony D. Jackson, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Michelle Monaco, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Tamilia and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 195]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Appellant Lawrence Weaver was convicted of robbery, aggravated

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 196]

    assault, and possession of an instrument of crime. We affirm.

Appellant raises two issues for review: (1) was trial counsel ineffective in failing to file a written motion to dismiss the charges against appellant pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(f); and (2) did the trial court err in denying appellant's motion to dismiss the charges pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(f).

Because of our disposition of this matter we need not address these issues separately. The circumstances surrounding appellant's arrest and conviction are well documented in both the record and the trial court's opinion, and clearly indicate that any motion to dismiss under Pa.R.Crim.P. 1100(f) was without merit.

It is well settled in this Commonwealth that a person claiming ineffective assistance of counsel bears the burden of proof. Commonwealth v. Jones, 298 Pa. Super. 199, 205, 444 A.2d 729, 732 (1982). Additionally, counsel's stewardship of the matter in question is presumed effective. Commonwealth v. Norris, 305 Pa. Super. 206, 210, 451 A.2d 494, 496 (1982).

In our review of an ineffectiveness claim we must first determine the threshold question of whether the legal claims underlying the assertions of ineffectiveness are of arguable merit. Commonwealth v. Pierce, 345 Pa. Super. 324, 327, 498 A.2d 423, 425 (1985) (en banc), allocatur granted, 510 Pa. 244, 507 A.2d 368 (1986). Counsel may never be held ineffective where the legal claim underlying the alleged ineffectiveness is baseless or meritless. Commonwealth v. Carroll, 355 Pa. Super. 569, 572, 513 A.2d 1069, 1070 (1986).

Once a determination has been made that the underlying claim has merit, we must decide whether the course of action chosen by counsel "had some reasonable basis aimed at promoting the defendant's interests." ...


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