Commonwealth v. Hill, 011119 PASUP, 712 EDA 2018

Docket Nº:712 EDA 2018
Opinion Judge:STEVENS, P.J.E.
Party Name:COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. SHAWN HILL Appellant
Judge Panel:BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., McLAUGHLIN, J., and STEVENS , P.J.E.
Case Date:January 11, 2019
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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2019 PA Super 12

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

v.

SHAWN HILL Appellant

No. 712 EDA 2018

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

January 11, 2019

Appeal from the PCRA Order January 25, 2018 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0009017-2012

BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., McLAUGHLIN, J., and STEVENS [*] , P.J.E.

OPINION

STEVENS, P.J.E.

Appellant, Shawn Hill, appeals pro se from the order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County dismissing his second petition filed pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa.C.S.A. 9541-9546, as untimely filed. We affirm.

In our review of Appellant's first PCRA appeal, we set forth the following pertinent facts and procedural history.1

In April 2014, following a bench trial, Appellant was convicted of murder in the first degree, two counts of attempted murder, conspiracy, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of Possession of a Firearm by Prohibited Person, Firearms not to be Carried Without a License, Carrying Firearms on a Public Street in Philadelphia, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person ("REAP"), and Possession of an Instrument of Crime ("PIC").

Appellant was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for first-degree murder, followed by consecutive sentences of ten to twenty years for each count of attempted murder. Appellant was sentenced to ten to twenty years for conspiracy, four to eight years for Possession of Firearm by a Prohibited Person, three to six years for Firearms Not to be Carried Without a License, and six to twelve months for REAP to run concurrently with his sentence for attempted murder.

Appellant timely appealed the judgment of sentence. He challenged the sufficiency and the weight of the evidence and asserted that the Commonwealth violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Appellant contended that the Commonwealth violated Brady by suppressing bullet fragments removed from the victim's body. See Appellant's 1925(b) Statement, 5/28/14. This Court affirmed the judgment of sentence on direct appeal. Regarding his Brady claim, this Court concluded that Appellant failed to prove that the Commonwealth suppressed evidence, or that the purported missing evidence was prejudicial. See Commonwealth v. Hill, 122 A.3d 1133 (Pa. Super. 2015) (unpublished memorandum), appeal denied, 128 A.3d 1205 (2015).

On January 5, 2016, Appellant timely filed [his first] PCRA petition, and counsel was appointed. In his petition, Appellant claimed to have new evidence in support of his previously raised Brady claim, specifically, a statement from Albert Einstein Medical Center ("AEMC"), describing the hospital's policy of submitting all recovered projectiles to the Philadelphia Police Department.

In July 2016, counsel submitted a no-merit letter pursuant to Commonwealth v. Turner, 544 A.2d 927 (1988), and Commonwealth v. Finley, 550 A.2d 213 (Pa. Super. 1988) (en banc). In September 2016, the PCRA court issued a Pa.R.Crim.P. 907 notice of its intent to dismiss Appellant's petition without a hearing. On September 29, 2016, Appellant responded to the court's Rule 907 notice, raising claims of ineffective assistance of PCRA counsel. See Appellant's Response to 907 Notice at 2-8. On the same day Appellant's 907 response was received, the court issued an opinion and order, dismissing Appellant's petition and granting appointed counsel's petition to withdraw.

Appellant then filed [a] timely [PCRA] appeal. The PCRA court did not direct Appellant's compliance with Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b). Appellant timely filed a brief with this Court. In June 2017, Appellant filed a Request for Permission to File Supplemental Arguments Based on New Case Law. In July 2017, this Court granted Appellant leave to file a supplemental brief.

Preliminarily, [this Court addressed] the issues Appellant purport[ed] to raise in his supplemental brief. Appellant's supplemental brief raise[d] the following claims:

I. Whether PCRA counsel was ineffective for unreasonably narrowing its investigation to the Commonwealth's illegal suppression of vital ballistic evidence without investigation of lead detective (George Pirrone's) illegal withholding of evidence from the Commonwealth?

II. Whether trial, appellate and PCRA counsel[']s performances deprived appellant of his right to meaningful review where counsel allowed the Commonwealth to fraudulently misrepresent a material fact regarding the Commonwealth's possession of Sakima Santos and Chasity Cannon's medical records prior to trial?

III. Whether PCRA counsel was deficient in his performance where he failed to ascertain evidence of detectives (James Pitts) conviction in a civil judgment/verdict, and (Ronald Dove's) guilty plea in a murder cover-up, both of which are crucial impeachable evidence surrounding Marcella Ingrum and Rory Hill's illegal arrests, extensive detention, and illegally coerced inculpatory [sic] statements used by the [c]ourt as definitive proof of [A]ppellant's guilty [sic]?

Appellant's Supplemental Brief at v.

[With respect to such supplemental claims, we determined Appellant did not preserve them] in his original brief to this Court. Further, this Court did not grant Appellant leave to raise new issues in his supplemental brief. Order, 7/7/17. As such, these issues [were] not properly before this Court, [we concluded], and we decline[d] to review them.

Turning to those issues properly preserved, Appellant raise[d] the following issues for our review: I. Whether the PCRA [c]ourt's final conclusion was deficient where it inexplicably quoted nearly verbatim its 1925(a) opinion issued on direct appeal without establishing independent evidentiary support for its denial of relief based on newly-discovered evidence?

II. Whether the PCRA [c]ourt's adverse conclusion on its on [sic] court ordered DNA and fingerprint analysis - of which was stipulated as an undisputed fact-survives a question of law where an interjection of personal scientific theories post-trial circumvented the stipulation and diminished the materiality of [Appellant's] Brady claim?

III. Whether the PCRA [c]ourt's conclusion on [Appellant's] Brady claim-now supported by newly discovered evidence-survives a question of law where the recent Dennis[4] decision qualifies the final conclusion reached in this case as being contrary to, and an unreasonable application of established Federal and State precedent...

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