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[U] Commonwealth v. Shoulders

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 7, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee,
v.
WILLIAM SHOULDERS, Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order January 17, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-02-CR-0000573-2000, CP-02-CR-0012457-1999.

Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., OLSON, J., and WECHT, J.

MEMORANDUM

PANELLA, J.

Appellant, William Shoulders, appeals pro se from the PCRA Order entered January 17, 2013, by the Honorable Randal B. Todd, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. We affirm.

Following a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of one (1) count of first-degree murder, [1] two (2) counts of recklessly endangering another person, [2]and one (1) count of firearms not to be carried without a license[3] arising from a shooting that occurred on September 4, 1999. On August 6, 2001, Appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal; however, based on appointed counsel's failure to file a brief, his appeal was denied without prejudice to his rights under the Post-Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"). Appellant filed his first PCRA petition on May 12, 2003, which resulted in reinstatement of his appellate rights. Eventually, Appellant's conviction was affirmed by our Court on February 6, 2006.

Appellant filed a second PCRA petition on November 3, 2006. Appointed counsel filed a petition to withdraw and a no-merit letter. The PCRA court dismissed the second PCRA petition, and the dismissal was affirmed by our Court on June 14, 2010.

On April 25, 2011, Appellant filed a third PCRA petition, which is the subject of the instant appeal. He alleges trial counsel filed a pretrial motion for discovery requesting, inter alia, the clothing of the victim. See Appellant's PCRA Petition, 4/25/11 at 3. Appellant contends that a Brady[4]violation occurred since the Commonwealth did not produce the victim's clothing.[5] On January 17, 2013, the PCRA court dismissed Appellant's petition as untimely. This timely appeal followed.

Appellant raises the following issues for our review:

1. Whether the prosecution withheld evidence that was specifically request [sic] in [Appellant]'s motion before trial?
2. Whether the prosecution denied [Appellant] access to evidence for chemical testing?
3. Whether counsel gave ineffective assistance in allowing the prosecution to withhold the evidence sought in a written ...

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