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[U] Commonwealth v. Conley

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 20, 2014



Appeal from the PCRA Order of February 27, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Criminal Division at Nos.: CP-02-CR-0004013-1994, CP-02-CR-0013631-1998




Shawn Conley appeals the February 27, 2013 order dismissing his third petition for relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA")[1]as untimely. We affirm.

On November 13, 1995, at CP-02-CR-0004013, Conley was convicted by a jury of two counts of robbery, and one count each of aggravated assault, carrying a concealed firearm without a license, and criminal conspiracy.[2] In an earlier opinion in this case, the trial court (now PCRA court), summarized the facts underlying these convictions as follows:

On October 21, 1993, the victim, John Napper, was visiting a friend's house in the Homewood [neighborhood] of the City of Pittsburgh. When he left to run errands[, ] Napper saw three black males sitting on a nearby porch, and recognized all three as being members of the local community. The victim knew Sedric Boyd and Shawn Conley by their full names and recognized the co-defendant by his nickname "Los[, " whose full name was Carlos Coulton]. When Napper went to get into his car[, ] he was forced into the car at gunpoint. He testified that Coulton grabbed him around the neck while the others pointed guns at his head and his eyes. Napper further testified that Boyd was driving his car and Coulton and Conley were sitting in the back seat, flanking him. Conley was pistol whipping Mr. Napper while Coulton was holding his hands down, constantly asking Napper for money and cocaine. At one point[, ] Mr. Napper asked "why are you doing this to me?" to which Conley responded "because you know I shot Tom Mitchell." At some point[, ] Mr. Napper was able to jump out of the car and while he was halfway out of the car[, ] he was shot by Conley and Coulton. Conley shot Mr. Napper in the stomach while Coulton shot him in the legs. Mr. Napper fell to the street and[, ] when the vehicle started to move[, ] it backed over him. The vehicle ran over his pelvis and started dragging him down the street and around the corner. Mr. Napper was eventually flung loose and the car sped off with the three black males inside. An ambulance responded to the scene and Mr. Napper was transported to the hospital where he was hospitalized for four months, followed by a period of rehabilitation of two months for his broken pelvis, seven bullet [wounds], and several broken ribs. These injuries required two surgeries[, ] which will leave him permanently in a wheelchair. Mr. Napper also lost a piece of his finger during the attack. Mr. Napper had no doubt about the identification of the assailants, including Conley. A few weeks after the attack[, ] he was shown a photo array[, ] which included [Conley, ] and identified him in the array.
Garreth Davis, a Pennsylvania State Constable, testified that he was serving warrants in the area where the crime took place, driving his van. Mr. Davis' attention was drawn to Napper's car when he saw Conley and the co-defendants trying to pull Napper back into the vehicle. He heard gun shots as he approached the car and chased it when it sped away from the scene. After a brief chase[, ] the car containing the three black males came to rest, after it ran into another car and the three occupants exited.
The witness, Garreth Davis, chased them on foot but all three fled into the nearby woods and were able to [] escape. Mr. Davis later was able to identify Shawn Conley.
Pittsburgh Police later searched the wooded area and found a .380 handgun; and a spent .380 automatic casing. The crime lab tests later matched the spent casing with the .380 handgun. Warrants were issued for all three of the [men], and they were arrested.

Trial Court Opinion ("T.C.O."), 6/9/1997, at 3-4 (citations to notes of testimony omitted). On November 6, 1995, Conley was sentenced to an aggregate term of twenty-seven and one-half to fifty-five years' imprisonment.

On January 26, 1998, we affirmed the judgment of sentence. See Commonwealth v. Conley, No. 313 Pitts. 1997, slip op. at 3 (Pa. Super. Jan. 26, 1998). Conley did not seek allowance of appeal from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

On February 16, 1999, Conley filed his first PCRA petition, which was dismissed without a hearing on June 11, 2001. Initially, we remanded the case for the preparation of a proper Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a) opinion. See Commonwealth v. Conley, 1089 WDA 2001, slip op. at 1, 4 (Pa. Super. Aug. 21, 2002). Upon return to this Court, we affirmed the PCRA court's order dismissing Conley's PCRA petition. See Commonwealth v. Conley, 1089 WDA 2011, slip op. at 1, 5 (Pa. Super. March 21, 2005). Conley filed a petition for allowance of appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which the Court denied on September 29, 2005. See Commonwealth v. Conley, 885 A.2d 532 (Pa. 2005) (per curiam).

On January 3, 2011, Conley filed a second PCRA petition. The PCRA court issued two notices of its intention to dismiss the petition without a hearing pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 907(1), dated February 22, 2011 and January 6, 2012. On January 25, 2012, Conley filed a written response to the PCRA court's notice. On February 28, 2012, the PCRA court dismissed Conley's petition without a hearing. Conley appealed the order, but we dismissed that appeal on July 24, 2012 because Conley failed to file a docketing statement pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 3517.[3] See Commonwealth v. Conley, No. 821 WDA 2012 (Pa. Super. July 24, 2012) (per curiam).

On January 31, 2000, while his PCRA proceedings at CP-02-CR-0004013-1994 were ongoing, Conley pleaded guilty to third-degree murder[4]at CP-02-CR-0013631-1998 for his involvement in the November 5, 1993, murder of Troy Miller. At his guilty plea hearing, Conley stipulated to the following facts, as summarized by the Commonwealth:

[Sedene Woodson and Thomas Woodson] would have testified that on November 5, 1993, that around 2:30 in the afternoon they came into contact with their other cousin, the deceased in this case, Troy Miller. The Woodsons would have testified that all three of them wanted to go down to the Sparkle Car Wash on North Braddock Avenue to clean up two cars. Sedene Woodson would have testified that the three cousins went down to the Sparkle Car Wash and were cleaning up the car. Sedene would have testified that around 3:00 in the afternoon he observed a car traveling down North Braddock Avenue toward Penn Avenue. He would have testified he observed four individuals inside, two in the front seat, two in the back seat. All four he would have testified were wearing masks that he could not see through. He would have testified at that point shooting broke out and that when he turned and attempted to get down he was struck in the back. Sedene Woodson would have testified that while he was laying on the ground bleeding he heard his cousin Tom Woodson telling Troy Miller to stay down. At that point he would have testified he was in and out of consciousness.
Now, Thomas Woodson would have testified substantially in the same fashion, that once the shooting started he was on the telephone getting ready to make a phone call. He would have testified that he hit the ground to take cover when he heard the shots go off. He heard a shotgun blast first then gunfire that erupted and lasted about a minute. Thomas Woodson would have testified he saw Sedene Woodson bleeding profusely from the abdomen and also observed his other cousin, Troy Miller, shot and trying to get up in a panic. He would have ...

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