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Randall Shotts, Et-5846 v. John Wetzel

September 20, 2011

RANDALL SHOTTS, ET-5846, PETITIONER,
v.
JOHN WETZEL, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



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

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Randall Shotts, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which he has been granted leave to prosecute in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be dismissed, and because reasonable jurists could not conclude that a basis for appeal exists, a certificate of appealability will be denied.

Shotts is presently serving a 301/2 to 133 year sentence imposed following his conviction, upon a plea of guilty to multiple charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, trespass, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, risking a catastrophe, driving under the influence, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, criminal attempt and criminal conspiracy at Nos. 1385 C 1999, 1608 C 1999, 1609 C 1999, 1620 V 1999, 507 C 2000, 1761 C 2000, 4734 C 2000, 4735 C 2000, 4736 C 2000, 4737 C 2000, 4738 C 2000 and 4739 C 2000 in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. This sentence was imposed on June 11, 2001.*fn1 No appeal was pursued.*fn2

On July 14, 2002, Shotts filed a post-conviction-petition.*fn3 On May 2, 2003, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition as untimely on all claims except the one count on which the petitioner had been resentenced, namely 4735 C 2000 and the latter claim was dismissed as moot.*fn4 An appeal was pursued and the Superior Court on January 26, 2006 reversed the dismissal as to all cases except 4734 C 2000, 4737 C 2000 and 4739 C 2000 and remanded the other cases for consideration on the merits.*fn5

An amended post-conviction petition was filed and following a hearing, relief was denied on April 18, 2007.*fn6 An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the questions presented were:

I. Was trial counsel ineffective for failing to obtain any discovery from the Commonwealth in preparation for the Appellant's trial/guilty plea?

II. Was trial counsel ineffective in failing to properly advise the Appellant of the possible range of sentences for the multitudinous crimes with which he was charged?

III. Was trial counsel ineffective for encouraging the Appellant to enter a general plea of guilty in a case with such an inordinate number of charges and likelihood of a severe and consecutive sentence?

IV. Did trial court error in determining that the Appellant's guilty plea was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary?

V. Was trial counsel ineffective for failing to object to the Commonwealth filing separate Criminal Informations on the within cases?*fn7

On March 16, 2010, the Superior Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief.*fn8 Leave to file a petition for leave to appeal nunc pro tunc was filed in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court raising these same issues,*fn9 and leave to appeal was denied on December 7, 2010.*fn10

In the instant petition executed on April 8, 2011, Shotts contends he is entitled to relief on the following grounds:

1. Ineffective assistance of counsel.

2. Failure/refusal of trial court to give proper credit of time served ...


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