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Commonwealth v. Lincoln

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

July 9, 2013

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
ROBERT LINCOLN Appellant

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence October 27, 2003 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s): CP# 0305-05011/1

BEFORE: GANTMAN, J., ALLEN, J., and OTT, J.

OPINION

GANTMAN, J.

Appellant, Robert Lincoln, appeals nunc pro tunc from the judgment of sentence entered in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, following his negotiated guilty plea to attempted murder, aggravated assault, and robbery.[1] For the following reasons we hold Appellant's challenge to the validity of his guilty plea is not properly before us for review at this time. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of sentence.

A prior memorandum decision of this Court sets forth the relevant facts of this case as follows:

In November, 2002, [A]ppellant savagely beat a woman in whose home he was a guest, stole the proceeds of her social security checks, and left the victim and her two severely retarded children to fend for themselves. Unable to reach his sister by telephone, the victim's brother came to the victim's home, discovered her lying in a pool of blood, and her children sitting in a pile of their own feces.

Commonwealth v. Lincoln, No. 2746 EDA 2005, unpublished memorandum at 1 (Pa.Super filed June 19, 2006). The recent trial court opinion continued as follows:

On October 27, 2003, following a guilty plea colloquy, [Appellant] entered a negotiated plea of guilty to Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Attempted Murder. This [c]ourt sentenced [Appellant] to sixteen (16) to forty (40) years for Attempted Murder and twenty (20) years['] probation for Robbery, to be served consecutive to the prison term. The sentence for Aggravated Assault merged with Attempted Murder for sentencing purposes. All other charges were nolle prosequi.
On November 23, 2003 [Appellant] filed a Notice of Appeal. On January 5, 2004, the appeal was withdrawn. On February 6, 2004, [Appellant] filed a Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA") Petition. Counsel was appointed, and on August 25, 2005, the Petition was dismissed….[2] On September 9, 2005, [Appellant] filed a pro se Notice of Appeal. On June 19, 2006, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the [PCRA] court. On July 31, 2006, [Appellant] filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. On July 4, 2007, the Supreme Court denied [Appellant's] petition.[3]
… On July 10, 2012, this [c]ourt issued an order directing [Appellant] to file a Statement of Errors Complained of on Appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P 1925(b). [Appellant] did so on August 21, 2012….

(Trial Court Opinion, filed September 25, 2012, at 1).

Appellant raises three claims for our review:

DID THE TRIAL COURT ERR WHEN, DURING THE PLEA COLLOQUY, IT MISINFORMED [APPELLANT] OF THE CORRECT MAXIMUM SENTENCE FOR THE OFFENSES HE FACED, OVERSTATING THE MAXIMUM BY 20 YEARS, THEREBY VIOLATING PENNSYLVANIA RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 590 AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND CAUSING THE PLEA TO HAVE BEEN MADE UNKNOWINGLY AND INVOLUNTARILY IN VIOLATION OF THAT RULE AND THE CONSTITUTION?
DID THE TRIAL COURT ERR WHEN IT ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA ON THE CHARGES OF ATTEMPTED MURDER, DESPITE (I) [APPELLANT'S] DENIAL OF A FACT CRUCIAL TO ONE OF THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE AND (II) THE SUBMISSION OF FACTS ESTABLISHING AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO THAT OFFENSE, THEREBY VIOLATING PENNSYLVANIA RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 590 AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND CAUSING THE ...

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