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Commonwealth v. Boyer

December 10, 2008

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE
v.
JAY MICHAEL BOYER, JR., APPELLANT



Appeal from the PCRA Order of March 7, 2008, in the Court of Common Pleas of Union County, Criminal Division at No. CP-60-CR-0000027-2002.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Colville, J.

BEFORE: ORIE MELVIN, SHOGAN and COLVILLE*fn1, JJ.

OPINION

¶ 1 This case is an appeal from the order denying Appellant's petition under the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"). Appellant claims the PCRA court erred in not finding his trial counsel ineffective in the following ways:

(1) by not objecting when the Commonwealth introduced the guilty plea of one of Appellant's co-defendants and by not requesting an instruction that the jury could not find Appellant guilty merely because of his co-defendant's plea;

(2) by not litigating the issue of a Miranda*fn2 violation with respect to Appellant's confession;

(3) by not requesting an instruction that the jurors could not consider Appellant's confession as evidence unless they determined it was voluntary;

(4) by not requesting an instruction that the jury should view Appellant's confession with caution.

¶ 2 We reverse the order of the PCRA court, vacate Appellant's conviction and judgment of sentence, and remand for further proceedings.

Facts

¶ 3 The facts of this case were set forth at some length in our opinion at Commonwealth v. Boyer, 856 A.2d 149 (Pa. Super. 2004), and in the Supreme Court's opinion at Commonwealth v. Boyer, 891 A.2d 1265 (Pa. 2006). As such, we will not detail those facts here. In brief, however, we note Appellant and his two co-defendants were charged with various offenses stemming from the burglary and robbery of two individuals in their home. One of Appellant's co-defendants pled guilty. Appellant and the remaining co-defendant proceeded to trial. Both were convicted.

¶ 4 Thereafter, Appellant filed a direct appeal in which he raised numerous claims, including the ineffectiveness of his trial counsel. We deferred the ineffectiveness claims to collateral review, addressed his other issues and affirmed the judgment of sentence. Boyer, 856 A.2d at 156. Appellant filed a petition for allowance of appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and the court granted that petition. Commonwealth v. Boyer, 868 A.2d 450 (Pa. 2005). Ultimately, however, the court denied relief. Boyer, 891 A.2d at 1267.

ΒΆ 5 Appellant then timely filed the instant PCRA petition. After an evidentiary hearing, the court denied the petition. ...


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