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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GIRLIE SINGH (02/26/88)

filed: February 26, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GIRLIE SINGH, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division of Delaware County, at No. 1255 of 1985.

COUNSEL

Burton A. Rose, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Ann A. Osborne, Assistant District Attorney, Radnor, for Com., appellee.

Beck, Kelly and Popovich, JJ. Kelly, J. concurs in the result.

Author: Popovich

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 514]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence (5-10 years) for voluntary manslaughter and possession of an instrument of crime by the appellant, Girlie Singh. We affirm.

Counsel other than trial counsel (first counsel) is representing the appellant on appeal and raises four (4) issues for our consideration.

The initial contention by the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence for voluntary manslaughter, as well as questioning whether the Commonwealth met its burden of disproving the appellant's self-defense argument. We find that this bifurcated issue does not withstand scrutiny under a waiver analysis.

To explicate, the post-trial motions filed merely alleged that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and that the court erred in denying the appellant's demurrer. Moreover, in supplemental post-trial motions submitted by second, appointed counsel, which were restricted to assailing the ineffectiveness of first counsel, nowhere therein is the basis for an attack on the sufficiency of the evidence elaborated upon to satisfy the specificity requirements enunciated by Commonwealth v. Gravely, 486 Pa. 194, 404 A.2d 1296 (1979) and followed by this Court in Commonwealth v. Holmes, 315 Pa. Super. 256, 461 A.2d 1268 (1983). Nor does appellate counsel, who is the third counsel and unassociated with prior counsel, assert the ineffectiveness of previous counsel as a vehicle by which the self-defense argument of the appellant in the first issue can be addressed. See Commonwealth v. Fox, 476 Pa. 475, 383 A.2d 199 (1978); Commonwealth v. Dancer, 460 Pa. 95, 331 A.3d 435 (1975); Commonwealth v. Klaric, 263 Pa. Super. 286, 397 A.2d 1212 (1979); Commonwealth v. Sweitzer, 261 Pa. Super. 183, 395 A.2d 1376 (1978). Accordingly, the matter is deemed waived.

The second issue posed relates to the claimed ineffectiveness of trial counsel in not requesting an instruction informing

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 515]

    the jury about the victim's alleged pattern of spousal abuse in support of the appellant's argument and belief that deadly force was necessary to repulse the victim.

Albeit (second) post-trial counsel also failed to raise the issue at bar, appellate counsel labels such counsel as ineffective for not doing so. This appeal being the first occasion that counsel other than counsel whose stewardship is being challenged is representing the appellant, it is the proper stage at which to examine the claim. See Dancer, supra; see ...


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