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[U] Commonwealth v. Ashford

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 25, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
KENNETH WINSTON ASHFORD Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order August 29, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-36-CR-0002459-1991

BEFORE: MUNDY, J., OLSON, J., and STABILE, J.

MEMORANDUM

MUNDY, J.

Appellant, Kenneth Winston Ashford, appeals pro se from the August 29, 2013 order dismissing his sixth petition for relief filed pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA), 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9541-9546. After careful review, we affirm.

We summarize the relevant facts and procedural history of this case as follows. On July 17, 1992, a jury found Appellant guilty of two counts each of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), receiving stolen property, and burglary.[1] On November 4, 1992, the trial court imposed an aggregate sentence of 10¼ to 33 years' imprisonment. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal and this Court affirmed the judgment of sentence on June 15, 1993. Commonwealth v. Ashford, 631 A.2d 1365 (Pa.Super. 1993) (unpublished memorandum), appeal denied, 639 A.2d 22 (Pa. 1994). Our Supreme Court denied Appellant's petition for allowance of appeal on February 8, 1994. Appellant did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Since that time, Appellant filed a total of five PCRA petitions, one each in 1994, 1997, 2001, 2006, and 2011, none of which were successful.

On June 28, 2013, Appellant filed his sixth PCRA petition. The Commonwealth filed its answer on August 2, 2013. The PCRA court entered an order on August 14, 2013, giving Appellant notice of its intent to dismiss his sixth PCRA petition without a hearing pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 907. Appellant filed a timely response to the Rule 907 notice on August 23, 2013. On August 29, 2013, the PCRA court entered an order dismissing Appellant's sixth PCRA petition. On September 11, 2013, Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.[2]

On appeal, Appellant raises the following six issues for our review.

A. Whether [the PCRA] court was proper in denying Appellant's PCRA petition without appointing counsel after Appellant asserted ineffective assistance of counsel[?]
B. Whether trial counsel [provided] ineffective assistance … for not calling an expert witness to rebut the Commonwealth's expert witness[?]
C. Whether trial counsel [provided] ineffective assistance of counsel for not investigating Det[ective] Dennis Arnold's report[?]
D. Whether direct appeal counsel … and initial [PCRA counsel provided] ineffective assistance of counsel's [sic] for not pursuing trial counsel['s] … refusal to call an expert witness and investigate [Detective] … Arnold's report[?]
E. Whether [Appellant's] underlying ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim is substantial, and whether ...

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