Court: Man can’t appeal
Altoona resident already served his sentence
An Altoona man has been denied the right to pursue a post-conviction appeal because he has already served his sentence, according to an opinion issued Friday by the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
James Glen Ingram Jr., 54, was sentenced in December 2013 by Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan to 15- to 30-months imprisonment on a charge of receiving stolen property, an offense which occurred on Sept. 9, 2013.
Ingram initially did not appeal his sentence, but he filed a post-conviction petition in November 2014, and an attorney from Hollidaysburg was appointed to represent him.
A hearing date was scheduled for April 2016, but just prior to the hearing, the attorney filed a notice that the appeal was withdrawn.
In February, Ingram sought again to pursue the post-conviction appeal, but Sullivan rejected it without a hearing.
Ingram appealed to the Superior Court, but in an opinion written by Judge Correale F. Stevens, the court rejected his request.
Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal procedure state that an indigent petitioner, like Ingram, has a right to an attorney for his initial post-conviction petition, however, despite Ingram’s argument that he was attempting to restart his first PCRA, the opinion concluded his most recent appeal was actually a second petition.
Stevens also wrote, “It is well-settled that a PCRA petitioner must currently be serving a sentence of imprisonment, probation or parole for the crime … in order to be entitled to relief.”
The opinion stated that Ingram “did not attempt to argue that he is currently serving a sentence, probation or parole for the crime.
“But, rather he argues that he is eligible for relief under the PCRA as he is contesting the amount of the fine imposed upon him.
“However, an unfulfilled payment of a fine does not constitute ‘currently serving’ a sentence for purposes of establishing PCRA eligibility,” the opinion concluded.
State court records indicated that Ingram is paying more than $18,000 worth of fines, costs and restitution in Blair County.
They also show Ingram presently is an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale.
He was sentenced in 2015 by Blair County President Judge Elizabeth Doyle to serve a sentence of three to six years on a burglary charge.