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[U] Commonwealth v. James

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 7, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
ARTHUR JAMES A/K/A ANTHONY THOMPSON A/K/A ANTHONY SEABROOK, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order entered February 24, 2012, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No(s): CP-51-CR-0230651-1994, CP-51-CR-0606871-1993, CP-51-CR-0611321-1993, CP-51-CR-0717991-1993, CP-51-CR-0719671-1993, CP-51-CR-0719681-1993 & CP-51-CR-1133561-1993.

BEFORE: ALLEN, STABILE, and STRASSBURGER, [*] JJ.

MEMORANDUM

ALLEN, J.

Arthur James a/k/a Anthony Thompson a/k/a Anthony Seabrook ("Appellant") appeals from the order denying his fourth petition for relief under the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa.C.S.A. sections 9541-46. We affirm.

The pertinent facts and prolonged procedural history are as follows:

[Appellant] participated in a robbery, which resulted in the victim's death. In 1994, [he] entered a negotiated guilty plea to five counts of receiving stolen property, three counts of receiving stolen property, three counts of conspiracy to receive stolen property, one count of possession with intent to deliver, one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. Pursuant to his bargain with the Commonwealth, [Appellant] agreed to testify in the robbery/homicide prosecution of James Fiers ["Fiers"]. The Commonwealth agreed not to bring additional charges against [Appellant] and to inform the sentencing court of the nature and extent of [Appellant's] cooperation during Fier[s]' trial. However, [Appellant's] testimony exonerated Fiers, which directly led to a verdict of acquittal.
[Appellant] appeared for sentencing on January 31, 1996. At the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor informed the court that [Appellant] was in breach of his plea agreement. Noting [Appellant's] extensive criminal history, the sentencing court found [Appellant] to be a chronic liar and held that he was incapable of rehabilitation. The sentencing court subsequently imposed an aggregate term of imprisonment of forty-three to eighty-six years [of imprisonment]. This Court affirmed the judgment of sentence on May 5, 1997. Commonwealth v. Thompson, 695 A.2d 441 (Pa.Super. 1997) (unpublished memorandum). [Appellant] filed a petition for reargument, which was denied [on] May 13, 1997. [Appellant] did not file a petition for allowance of appeal with [our] Supreme Court.
[Appellant] filed a pro se PCRA petition on March 3, 1998. and counsel was duly appointed. Counsel filed a "no-merit" letter pursuant to the dictates of Commonwealth v. Turner, 518 Pa. 491, 544 A.2d 927 (1988), and Commonwealth v. Finley, 550 A.2d 213 (Pa.Super. 1988). The PCRA court provided notice of its intent to dismiss the PCRA petition, and [Appellant] filed a timely response. The PCRA court directed prior counsel to supplement the record for the benefit of PCRA counsel. On May 29, 1999, PCRA counsel filed an amended "[n]o-merit" letter. The PCRA court provided proper notice of its intent to dismiss the petition, and [Appellant] timely responded. Upon review, the PCRA court concluded [that Appellant's] contentions were non-meritorious and dismissed the petition on July 14, 1999. [Appellant] filed a notice of appeal from the PCRA court's order, but the appeal was dismissed on April 14, 2000, for failure to file a brief.
On July 18, 2000, [Appellant] filed a second PCRA petition followed by a supplemental counseled petition filed December 27, 2000. [Appellant] alleged he is the victim of an illegal sentence imposed in violation of due process of law. [Appellant] alternatively advanced his sentencing claims under color of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The PCRA court determined that [Appellant's] petition was untimely, that it was not saved by any of the exceptions to the timing requirements of the PCRA, and that [Appellant] is not eligible for habeas corpus relief. See PCRA Court Opinion, 9/28/01, at 5-7 (explaining the rationale for dismissing [Appellant's] petition).
On August 8, 2001, the PCRA court provided notice of its intent to dismiss [the petition] without a hearing. [Appellant] did not respond. Accordingly, on September 7, 2001, the PCRA court dismissed the petition.

Commonwealth v. James, 928 A.2d 1123 (Pa.Super. 2007), unpublished memorandum at 1-3.

Appellant filed a timely appeal to this Court. On August 14, 2001, this Court affirmed the PCRA court's order dismissing Appellant's second PCRA petition as untimely. Commonwealth v. James, 809 A.2d 958 (Pa.Super. 2002) (unpublished memorandum). On January 28, 2003, our Supreme Court denied Appellant's petition for allowance of appeal. Commonwealth v. James, 816 A.2d 1102 (Pa. 2003).

On August 4, 2004, Appellant filed his third PCRA petition. On July 25, 2005, the PCRA court issued Pa.R.Crim.P. 907 notice of its intent to dismiss Appellant's PCRA petition without a hearing. On August 19, 2005, the PCRA court dismissed Appellant's petition. Appellant filed a timely appeal to this Court. On April 12, 2007, we affirmed the PCRA court's denial of Appellant's serial request for post-conviction relief because the petition was untimely, and Appellant failed to establish an exception to the PCRA's time bar. See James, supra, unpublished memorandum at ...


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