By Joe Pinchot

Herald Staff Writer



A former Sharon man imprisoned for a 2001 home invasion in the city has lost another appeal.

A three-judge panel of Superior Court denied Jody Gabriele’s claim that his guilty plea was invalid.

Gabriele, 45, who is living in the Sharon Community Corrections Center halfway house, and Edward Boles forced their way into a 145 N. Water Ave. home on Oct. 20, 2001.

Gabriele demanded money, hit Michael D. Harris in the body with a baseball bat, then fled, police said.

Harris shot at the men as they ran, killing Boles, 38, of Sharon. Prosecutors said Harris acted in self-defense and did not charge him.

Gabriele pleaded guilty to terroristic threats and was sentenced to 18 months to 3 years in jail, but the clock did not start on the sentence until he completed a prison term on unrelated charges.

In an appeal under the Post Conviction Relief Act, Gabriele said he was unaware that he had to acknowledge assaulting Harris before he could be paroled until Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole refused to release him, Superior Court said in a July 9 opinion.

Gabriele said the provision violated his civil right not to incriminate himself because he had pleaded guilty to threatening Harris, not assaulting him. Prosecutors withdrew an aggravated assault charge as part of Gabriele’s plea agreement.

Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson dismissed the appeal because it was filed too late.

Superior Court said Gabriele had to file his appeal within one year of March 10, 2004, the date his sentence became final, unless he charged government interference, a civil rights violation or newly discovered evidence. Anyone citing one of these exemptions must file the appeal within 60 days of the discovery of the exemption.

Gabriele filed his appeal Aug. 31, 2006, citing the new evidence exemption.

Superior Court said Gabriele did not allege that his appeal was filed within the 60-day window, making it untimely.

The judges also turned aside Gabriele’s argument about his plea.

“It is settled law that lack of knowledge of the collateral effects of a guilty plea do not render the plea unknowing or involuntary,” the court said.

Gabriele had filed two earlier PCRA motions, both of which were denied by Dobson.

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