Commonwealth v. Morningwake, 060220 PASUP, 667 MDA 2019

Docket Nº:667 MDA 2019
Opinion Judge:LAZARUS, J.
Party Name:COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. DWAYNE M. MORNINGWAKE Appellant
Judge Panel:BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., LAZARUS, J., and MUSMANNO, J.
Case Date:June 02, 2020
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

v.

DWAYNE M. MORNINGWAKE Appellant

No. 667 MDA 2019

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 2, 2020

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence Entered October 6, 2017 In the Court of Common Pleas of York County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-67-CR-0001999-1988

BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., LAZARUS, J., and MUSMANNO, J.

MEMORANDUM

LAZARUS, J.

Dwayne M. Morningwake appeals from the judgment of sentence, entered in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, following his conviction for first-degree murder, 1 robbery, [2] burglary, 3 and conspiracy4 to commit these three offenses. Morningwake was originally sentenced on September 4, 1990, to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without parole for the murder, which he committed when he was fifteen-years-old.5 On October 6, 2017, the court resentenced Morningwake to forty-six years to life imprisonment in light of intervening decisions rendered by the United States Supreme Court. See Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) (holding that sentencing juvenile to life in prison without possibility of parole is unconstitutional); see also Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016) (requiring state collateral review courts give retroactive effect to Miller rule).6

On appeal, Morningwake challenges the court's imposition of $12, 235.35 of costs associated with his resentencing. Today we reaffirm the principle that "when further proceedings are not necessitated by the actions of the defendant and the defendant obtains relief as a result of those proceedings, the Commonwealth should bear the risk of paying the additional [resentencing] costs." Commonwealth v. Lehman, 201 A.3d 1279, 1287 (Pa. Super. 2019), appeal granted, 215 A.3d 967 (Pa., June 25, 2019) (Table). Accordingly, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

On June 18, 1988, Morningwake, fifteen years old at the time, and two other co-conspirators, 7 participated in stabbing Kwame Beatty to death with a butcher knife while he slept. Beatty was Morningwake's counselor at the York Children's Home (Home), where he resided. Following trial, a jury convicted Morningwake of the above-stated offenses on April 14, 1989. On September 4, 1990, the court sentenced Morningwake to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without parole as a juvenile.

Morningwake timely filed post-sentence motions, which the trial court denied. Morningwake then filed a direct appeal. Our Court affirmed his judgment of sentence on appeal. Commonwealth v. Morningwake, 595 A.2d 158 (Pa. Super. 1991). On November 25, 1991, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied Morningwake's petition for allowance of appeal. Commonwealth v. Morningwake, 600 A.2d 535 (Pa. 1991). In May of 2005, Morningwake filed his first PCRA petition, which was denied as untimely.[8] On collateral appeal, our Court affirmed the PCRA court's order denying him relief. Commonwealth v. Morningwake, No. 1209 MDA 2006 (Pa. Super. filed Nov. 13, 2007) (unpublished memorandum). Morningwake filed a second untimely petition in June 2010, which the PCRA court denied. On collateral appeal, our Court affirmed the trial court. Commonwealth v. Morningwake, No. 2120 MDA 2013 (Pa. Super. filed August 25, 2014) (unpublished memorandum).

On March 8, 2016, Morningwake filed another PCRA petition, his third, alleging that his mandatory sentence of life imprisonment is unconstitutional under Miller and Montgomery and that he is "entitled to a new sentencing hearing with limited discovery in order to present evidence of his character." PCRA Petition, 3/8/16, at ¶11. On March 17, 2016, the court ordered a hearing on Morningwake's petition. At the hearing on September 11, 2017, the court scheduled resentencing for October 6, 2017.

At the resentencing hearing, both Morningwake and the Commonwealth presented expert reports on Morningwake's current mental state.9 The sentencing court resentenced Morningwake to forty-six years to life imprisonment for first-degree murder and left undisturbed his previous sentences on the remaining offenses. The sentencing court imposed court costs on Morningwake, totaling $12, 235.35, which included the cost of the Commonwealth's expert witness. On October 16, 2017, Morningwake filed a motion for post-sentence relief averring that the trial court's sentence was excessive. On November 27, 2017, the court denied Morningwake's motion.

Morningwake timely filed a notice of appeal and court-ordered Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) concise statement of errors complained of on appeal. On December 31, 2018, our Court dismissed Morningwake's appeal...

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