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[U] Commonwealth v. Piner

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 18, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
STEPHEN M. PINER, Appellant COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
STEPHEN M. PINER, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order entered on October 2, 2012 in the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Criminal Division, No(s): CP-07-CR-0000140-2012, CP-07-CR-0000141-2012, CP-07-CR-0000143-2012, CP-07-CR-0000144-2012, CP-07-CR-0000146-2012, CP-07-CR-0000148-2012, CP-07-CR-0000149-2012, CP-07-CR-0000150-2012, CR-07-CR-0000151-2012, CP-07-CR-0000153-2012, CP-07-CR-159-2012, CP-07-CR-0000160-2012, CP-07-CR-0000161-2012, CP-07-CR-0000163-2012, CP-07-CR-0001026-2012

BEFORE: PANELLA, OLSON and MUSMANNO, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

MUSMANNO, J.

Stephen M. Piner ("Piner") appeals from the Orders denying his Omnibus Pretrial Motions and his Motion for Nominal Bail pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 600 in this consolidated appeal. We affirm.

The trial court summarized the relevant history underlying the instant appeal as follows:

On November 1, 2011, fourteen criminal complaints were filed by the Altoona Police Department charging [Piner] with violations of the Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 Pa.C.S.A. § 780-113 et seq.[, ] and the Crimes Code, as a result of fourteen alleged incidents during a period [from] April 9, 2010 through August 15, 2011 ("Drug Delivery [Cases]"). On November 4, 2011, [Piner] was arrested pursuant to arrest warrants and preliminarily arraigned. His bail was set in the amount of $75, 000 for each of the criminal complaints. It was subsequently modified to $50, 000 on each criminal complaint. [Piner] was unable to post bail and continues to be incarcerated in the Blair County Prison.
On February 28, 2012, a criminal complaint was filed charging [Piner] with violations of the Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act … and the Crimes Code[] as a result of alleged incidents of September 15, 2011 through November 4, 2011 ("Ancillary Drug Activity"). On March 3, 2012, [Piner] was arrested pursuant to the arrest warrant issued upon the filing of the criminal complaint and preliminarily arraigned. Bail was set in the amount of $750, 000. [Piner] was unable to post bail and[, ] as a result[, ] was and continues to be committed to the Blair County Prison.
On May 2, 2012, the Commonwealth filed a Notice of Joinder of the "Drug Delivery[ Cases]" and the "Ancillary Drug Activity [Case]".

Trial Court Opinion, 10/3/12, at 1-2.

On June 14, 2012, Piner filed a Motion for Nominal Bail pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 600. After requesting an extension of time, Piner filed his Omnibus Pretrial Motions on July 26, 2012. Piner's Omnibus Pretrial Motions included a Motion to Dismiss the charges based on a violation of the compulsory joinder rule codified at 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 110.

After a hearing, the trial court denied Piner's Rule 600 Motion for Nominal Bail by an Opinion and Order entered on October 2, 2012. After a separate hearing, in an Opinion and Order entered of January 11, 2013, the trial court denied Piner's Motion to Dismiss based upon the compulsory joinder rule. Piner filed separate, timely appeals of the trial court's orders, after which this Court consolidated the appeals.

On appeal, Piner presents the following claims for our review:

1. Whether the [trial court] erred by denying the Motion for [] Nominal Bail pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 600(e) for both the fourteen cases initially filed and the case subsequently filed, all of which had been joined, upon expiry of the 180-day period for entitlement to immediate release on nominal bail with the addition of appropriate excludable time?
2. Whether the trial court erred in denying relief on the Motion to Dismiss pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.[A.] ยง 110 inasmuch as the evidence demonstrated that the ...

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