Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in case of Steven Hudson, Parole No. 2411-K.
Allen P. Powanda, First Assistant Public Defender, for petitioner.
Arthur R. Thomas, Assistant Chief Counsel, with him, Robert A. Greevy, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges MacPhail and Barry, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 567]
Steven Hudson (Petitioner) has appealed from a denial of administrative relief by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Board). Petitioner challenges the timeliness of his violation and revocation hearing and contends that an excessive amount of backtime was imposed in his case. We affirm.
Since the chronology of events in this case is quite lengthy, we will attempt to limit our discussion to those dates which are essential to our analysis. While on parole from a sentence of seven to fifteen years for a conviction of five counts of robbery,*fn1 Petitioner was arrested on October 9, 1983 and placed in Chester County Prison following his failure to post bail. The Board subsequently filed a parole violation warrant against him alleging several violations of Petitioner's general conditions of parole. Following a preliminary hearing on October 24, 1983, Petitioner waived his right to a full Board hearing and requested a continuance of his violation and/or revocation hearings "pending disposition of the criminal charges and sentencing, if convicted." Certified Record at 124. On December 5, 1983, Petitioner pled guilty to theft by deception*fn2 and was sentenced by the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.
[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 568]
On December 9, 1983, Petitioner was arrested while in Chester County Prison by the Philadelphia Police Department on charges related to an incident which had occurred in early 1983. Following this arrest, Petitioner signed a second request, on January 4, 1984, for "a continuance of the parole revocation and violation hearing pending the outcome of other charges in Philadelphia." Certified Record at 123. Petitioner was later convicted of two counts of forgery*fn3 in Philadelphia County on July 16, 1984. Sentencing on those convictions was deferred until November 27, 1984. A violation and revocation hearing was ultimately held on February 14, 1985.*fn4
The first issue raised by Petitioner is whether the February 14, 1985 hearing was timely. Petitioner contends that the duration of his first requested continuance of October 24, 1983 should have ended on December 5, 1983 when he was convicted and sentenced in Chester County, thus commencing the 120-day time limit for his Board hearing. Since the hearing was not held until February 14, 1985, Petitioner contends that the hearing was untimely as to the Chester County convictions and the technical violations.
We cannot agree with Petitioner's argument since we think that Petitioner's second request for a continuance made on January 4, 1984 had the effect of again continuing the violation and revocation hearing, this time pending disposition of the newly filed charges in Philadelphia. Petitioner's January 4, 1984 request was that the "revocation and violation hearing" be continued pending "the outcome of other charges in Philadelphia."
[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 569]
We observe that the Philadelphia arrest gave rise to no new technical violation charges by the Board. Thus, Petitioner's request for a continuance of the technical violations aspect of the case could only relate to the charges originally lodged by the Board in October of 1983. Moreover, since a Board revocation hearing on the Philadelphia charges could not take place until a conviction on those charges occurred, see 37 Pa. Code § 71.4(2), Petitioner's request for a continuance of the revocation hearing could only relate to the existing Chester County convictions. Thus, we conclude that the Board was justified in ...