A Schuylkill County court judge has denied a Tamaqua's man's appeal of his sentence for robbing another man at knifepoint on Oct. 11, 2012.
Roosevelt Warden, 45, of 400 N. Pine St., Tamaqua, had appealed his three- to six-year sentence under the Post Conviction Relief Act on the grounds that his lawyer was ineffective at a pretrial suppression hearing resulting in his plea deal.
But Judge John Domalakes on Monday ruled that Warden had admitted the crime, had said in court that he was satisfied with his lawyer, and that his lawyer had fully explained all the terms of his guilty plea and that he had the right to plead not guilty.
Tamaqua police arrested Warden on Oct. 15, 2012, for holding a knife to another man's throat and robbing him at Freddy's Pub.
Warden's lawyer on Feb. 22, 2013, had filed a motion to suppress his client's identification in a lineup, a statement he made to police before being read his Miranda rights, and evidence found in his home when he was arrested.
Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin denied the motion.
Warden pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Sept. 25, 2013. He filed the PCRA appeal on April 14.
In his four-page ruling, Domalakes wrote that Warden had written in his guilty plea statement that "I'm guilty of said crimes; want to move on with my life."
His lawyer had secured an agreement with prosecutors that no evidence gathered during his arrest would be against him at trial.
A witness to the crime identified Warden from a lineup of eight men and also identified him at the suppression hearing. She testified at that hearing that she knew him as "Dante" before the incident, and that he was a customer at the pub, where she was a bartender.
She said she had seen him outside the pub on the evening of the incident, in good light, from a distance of about one foot, holding a knife to the victim's neck.
The police officer who spoke with Warden in his jail cell soon after his arrest testified that Warden made "no statement admitting any attempt to rob anyone."
That was enough to convince Domalakes that Warden's appeal had no basis.
"Under these circumstances, the court cannot find that defendant's counsel was ineffective at the omnibus pretrial hearing. There is nothing to indicate ineffectiveness," he wrote.