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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DAVID SAUTER (09/25/89)

submitted: September 25, 1989.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
DAVID SAUTER, APPELLANT



Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, No. 8706774.

COUNSEL

John H. Corbett, Jr., Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Claire C. Capristo, Asst. Dist. Atty., Pittsburgh, for Com., appellee.

Brosky, Wieand and Melinson, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 485]

David Sauter entered pleas of guilty to robbery*fn1 and

[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 486]

    aggravated assault.*fn2 He was sentenced to serve consecutive terms of imprisonment of not less than ten years nor more than twenty years for robbery and not less than five years nor more than ten years for aggravated assault. In response to a motion to modify the sentence, however, the trial court ordered the sentences of imprisonment to be served concurrently. On direct appeal, Sauter is represented by new counsel who argues that the guilty plea colloquy was defective, that guilty plea counsel was ineffective for failing to seek a withdrawal of the guilty plea, and that the sentence was excessive. We find no merit in these arguments and affirm the judgment of sentence.

Appellant contends that the seven page "Explanation of Defendant's Rights" form, containing questions which he read, answered and signed, was inadequate to satisfy the "on the record" colloquy requirement for a valid plea of guilty. This "explanation of rights" was a thorough review of the effect of a plea of guilty and a statement of the rights being surrendered by the entry of a plea of guilty. When appellant appeared in court to tender his guilty plea, the trial judge advised him of the elements of the offenses to which he was entering pleas of guilty and the maximum sentences which could be imposed therefor. The Commonwealth also reviewed the facts of the case,*fn3 and defendant, through his counsel, stated that there were no corrections or additions. The trial court also inquired regarding appellant's ability to read and write English and then addressed to him a series of questions and received answers as follows:

THE COURT: Mr. Sauter, why are you pleading guilty?

MR. SAUTER: Because I am guilty.

[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 487]

THE COURT: Have there been any threats or promises to ...


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