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[U] Commonwealth v. Washington
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
February 20, 2014
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
ROBERT WASHINGTON Appellant
Appeal from the PCRA Order of March 25, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No.: CP-51-CR-0200121-2004
BEFORE: GANTMAN, J., OLSON, J., and WECHT, J.
Robert Washington appeals the PCRA court's March 25, 2013 order dismissing his second petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541, et seq. We affirm.
The trial court provided the following brief summary of the factual and procedural history of this case:
On October 12, 2004, [Washington] pled guilty to third-degree murder, robbery (two counts), aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy. This court deferred [Washington's] sentencing hearing until the completion of his accomplice's trial.
While awaiting sentencing, [Washington] filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and requested the appointment of new counsel. On September 16, 2005, the court held a hearing with regard to [Washington's] motions. [Washington] ultimately withdrew his motions, and his case proceeded to sentencing. The court imposed concurrent prison terms of thirteen (13) to twenty-six (26) years on the murder bill and five (5) to ten (10)[-]year prison terms on each of the remaining bills.
[Washington] filed a Motion for Reconsideration and/or Modification of Sentence. The court denied the motion on October 3, 2005. [Washington] then filed an appeal in the Superior Court. On August 1, 2006, the Superior Court affirmed [Washington's] judgment of sentence. Commonwealth v. Washington, 2969 EDA 2005 (Pa. Super. Aug. 1, 2006) (unpublished). The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied his Petition for Allowance of Appeal on January 18, 2007. Commonwealth v. Washington, 918 A.2d 745 (Pa. 2007) (per curiam).
On October 30, 2007, [Washington filed] a PCRA petition. The court appointed counsel on [Washington's] behalf. Counsel thereafter filed a brief pursuant to Commonwealth v. Finley, 550 A.2d 213 (Pa. Super. 1988), stating that the issues raised in the pro se petition were without merit and that no meritorious issues or defenses could be raised in an amended petition. On October 3, 2008, after reviewing [Washington's] pro se PCRA petition, counsel's thorough and exhaustive Finley brief and the relevant notes of testimony, this court dismissed the PCRA petition as frivolous.1
1 The dismissal occurred no [fewer] than twenty (20) days after [Washington] was served with notice of the forthcoming dismissal of his PCRA petition. See Pa.R.Crim.P. 907(a).
[Washington] appealed this court's ruling to the Superior Court. On February 5, 2009, the Superior Court dismissed the appeal because [Washington] failed to file an appellate brief. Commonwealth v. Washington, 3206 EDA 2008 (Pa. Super. Feb. 5, 2009) (per curiam). [Washington] then filed a Petition for Review with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied the petition on July 21, 2009. Commonwealth v. Washington, 977 A.2d 1086 (Pa. 2009) (per curiam).
On or about August 13, 2012, [Washington] filed the instant PCRA petition. [Washington] claimed that his guilty plea was not valid and that both trial and PCRA counsel rendered ineffective assistance. On March 25, 2013, after reviewing [Washington's] pro se PCRA petition and the record, this Court dismissed the PCRA petition as untimely2. This timely pro se appeal followed.
2 The dismissal occurred no [fewer] than twenty (20) days after [Washington] was served with notice of the forthcoming dismissal of his PCRA ...
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