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State v. Moore

Decided: January 31, 1977.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
BRADFORD MOORE, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Lora, Crane and Michels.

Per Curiam

Defendant was indicted for entering the premises of the Paterson Crystal Company with intent to steal, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:94-1. He was also charged with the larceny of goods of the value of less than $200, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:170-30.1.

After the trial before a jury began, the prosecutor learned for the first time that a conversation had taken place between the owner of the business and defendant at police headquarters. The prosecutor represented that in the conversation the owner asked defendant, an employee of the business, "Why did you do this?" to which defendant replied, "I was stupid." Upon learning of the conversation, the prosecutor immediately informed defense counsel and the judge of its

contents. Before calling the owner, Samuel Cohen, to the stand, the prosecutor made an offer of proof of the conversation. Defense counsel objected to the introduction of defendant's inculpatory statement on the ground that it was not furnished in discovery. The judge sustained the objection and stated that the statement would not be admitted.

No mention of the inculpatory statement was elicited from Cohen during his direct examination or cross-examination. However, during recross examination the following exchange took place:

Q. Mr. Cohen, you didn't observe Mr. Moore there at any time on the occasion of the break, did you? I mean while it was in progress?

A. I came there after the place had been broken into.

Q. Right, okay. You don't know if Mr. Moore was there or not?

A. Pardon me?

Q. You don't know if Mr. Moore was there illegally or not do you? You're not telling us that he was there illegally 'cause you don't know? Do you understand the question, sir?

A. Well I can volunteer something that occurred afterwards but I ...


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