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Commonwealth v. Borrin

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

August 13, 2013

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellant
v.
JEFFREY MICHAEL BORRIN, Appellee

ARGUED: November 30, 2011

Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court entered on January 11, 2011 at No. 1223 MDA 2009 reversing and remanding the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Criminal Division, entered on June 12, 2009 at No. CP-40-CR-0003032-2005, 12 A.3d 466 (Pa.Super. 2011)

CASTILLE, C.J., SAYLOR, EAKIN, BAER, TODD, McCAFFERY, STEVENS, JJ.

OPINION ANNOUNCING THE JUDGMENT

TODD MADAME, JUSTICE

In this case on appeal by allowance, the trial court issued two orders imposing sentence upon Appellee, Jeffrey Michael Borrin; the first, on May 18, 2006, and the second, three years later, on June 12, 2009. On appeal, the Superior Court held that the trial court did not have the inherent power to issue the latter order. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

In the early afternoon hours of July 24, 2005, in connection with a charity event, several persons were riding motorcycles southbound on Route 309 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. At that same time, Appellee was driving his vehicle on Route 309 in the opposite direction. His child was in the back seat of the car. As the motorcycles approached, Appellee crossed the double yellow line and drove directly into them. One person, William Delaney, was killed, and four others, Linda Delaney, Paul Huber, Mark Hozlock, and Michael Jacobs, were seriously injured. A blood test to which Appellee submitted upon his arrest showed he had .76 nanograms of morphine in his system.

As a result, Appellee was charged in a criminal information with the following offenses: Count 1, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence; Count 2, homicide by vehicle; Counts 3, 4, 5, 6, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence; Counts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed; Count 12, endangering the welfare of children; Counts 13, 14, driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; Counts 15, 16, recklessly endangering another person; Count 17, driving while operating privilege is suspended/revoked; Count 18, driving while operating privilege is suspended/revoked, driving under the influence related; Count 19, driving on the right side of the roadways; and Count 20, reckless driving.[1] On March 20, 2006, Appellee entered an open guilty plea to all 20 counts in the information in the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, before the Honorable Chester B. Muroski.

On May 18, 2006, following a hearing, Appellee was sentenced. In open court, the trial court pronounced Appellee's sentence as follows:

THE COURT: . . . Count 1 with the mergers, 36 to 72 months. [Count 3] Aggravated assault, the one with Mrs. Linda Delaney, 16 to 32 months consecutive.
The one aggravated assault, Count 4, with Paul Huber, 12 to 24 months consecutive.
Count 5, involving Mark Hozlock, 12 to 24 months consecutive.
Count 6, involving Michael Jacobs, aggravated assault, 12 to 24 months consecutive.
[Count 7] Accidents involving death or severe injury involving William Delaney, 16 to 32 months consecutive.
[Counts] Eight, nine, ten and 11, they will all be probation, consecutive to each other, one year on each. That's eight, nine, ten and 11.
[Count 12] Endangering the welfare of a child, your own son, sir, three to six months consecutive.[2]
Counts 15 and 16, six months consecutive. Count 16, six months probation consecutive.
There are summaries [Counts 17, 18, 19, 20] involving fines. We'll impose the standard range on the fines, plus one [Count 18] carries a mandatory 60 days. That will be consecutive.
* * * THE COURT: [Appellee] gets [258 days] credit for time served.

N.T., 5/18/06, 17-18.

On that same day, Appellee's sentence was reduced to writing. The trial court's May 18, 2006 sentencing order states:

Sentence on [Case No.] 3032-05
ct 1 Homicide by vehicle while DUIF2 → 36-72 mo. SCI
ct 2 Homicide by vehicleF3 → merge w/ct 1
ct 3 Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUIF2 → 16-32 mo. cons. ct 1
ct 4 Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUIF2 → 12-24 mo. cons. ct 1
ct 5 Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUIF2 → 12-24 mo. cons. ct 1
ct 6 Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUIF2 → 12-24 mo. cons. ct 1
ct 7 Accidents involving death/injury while not prop. lic.F3 →16-32 mo. cons. to ct 1
ct 8 Accidents involving death/injury while not prop. lic.F3 → Probation
ct 9 Accidents involving death/injury while not prop. lic.F3 →1 yr cons. to
ct 10 Accidents involving death/injury while not prop. lic.F3 → each other
ct 11 Accidents involving death/injury while not prop. lic.F3 ...

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