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State v. James

Decided: June 3, 1964.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RUDOLPH V. JAMES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Gaulkin, Foley and Lewis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Foley, J.A.D.

Foley

Defendant appeals in forma pauperis from an order of the County Court denying his application for a writ of habeas corpus.

On February 11, 1954 the Monmouth County grand jury returned indictment No. 6704 charging the defendant and others, jointly, in four counts with: (1) entering without breaking premises with intent to rob one Mary Albano; (2) assault with a revolver with intent to rob Mary Albano; (3) entering without breaking premises with intent to rob one Frank Infanto; (4) assault with a revolver with intent to rob Frank Infanto. All offenses were alleged to have been committed on December 17, 1953.

On February 16, 1954 defendant was arraigned. The prosecutor did not read the indictment to him, but briefly summarized its contents. Defendant entered a plea of not guilty, and W. was assigned by the court as counsel.

On March 15, 1954 the State moved the indictment for trial. At that time W. announced to the court that he had consulted with Mr. James who was present, and "after discussing this for about two weeks Mr. James [wished] now to withdraw his plea of not guilty" and to enter a plea of non vult. The following then transpired:

"MR. FRANKEL [Assistant Prosecutor]: You, Rudolph James, have heretofore entered a plea of not guilty to Indictment Number 6704, which charges you with entering without breaking with intent to rob and assault with an offensive weapon. You wish to retract your plea of not guilty and plead how?

RUDOLPH JAMES: Guilty.

THE COURT: You have explained to him, Mr. W. the import of his new plea, have you not?

MR. W.: Yes, sir, I have.

THE COURT. He pleads guilty?

MR. W.: Yes.

THE COURT: He knows what he is doing?


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