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State v. Mazur

Decided: March 29, 1978.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DONALD MAZUR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the Superior Court, Law Division, Ocean County.

Lynch, Kole and Petrella.

Per Curiam

Defendant, an Atlantic City police officer, was indicted for conspiracy with 24 other police officers of that city and with one Lee Cohn to corruptly engage in misconduct in public office. The substance of the charge was that the officers agreed to afford to Cohn preferential treatment in enforcement of state laws and city ordinances with respect to three Atlantic City hotels which he owned. N.J.S.A. 2A:85-1. Defendant was also individually charged in five other counts of the 73 count indictment with unlawfully taking money in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:105-1.

After a jury trial defendant was convicted of the conspiracy charge and four of the counts charging extortion. The fifth count charging defendant with that offense had previously been severed by the trial judge. Defendant was sentenced on the conspiracy count to a suspended nine-month term in the Atlantic County jail and fined $1,000. He was also given a suspended $1,000 fine on each of the remaining four counts of extortion.

On appeal defendant contends:

POINT I: The trial court committed plain error by charging

the jury so as to require conviction of the defend-

ant of conspiracy based upon an agreement between

the defendant and Lee Cohn (not raised below);

POINT II: The court committed plain error by failing to define

the critical element of criminal intent with respect

to any counts of the indictment (not raised below);

POINT III: The trial court committed plain error in failing to

charge the jury that moneys allegedly received by

the defendant had to be given and understood by

him to be in return for performance of his official

duties (not raised below);

POINT IV: The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion

for acquittal on counts XXV and XXVIII;

POINT V: The trial court's limitation on the number of defend-

ant's character witnesses constituted reversible error

in violation of N.J. Rule of Evidence 47 and U.S.

Constitution Amend. 6 and N.J. Constitution Art. I,

Paragraph 10;

POINT VI: The trial court committed prejudicial error by not

permitting the State's chief witness to be impeached

by prior convictions of assault and battery and as-

sault and battery on a police officer;

POINT VII: The trial court's limitation on cross-examination of

Lee Cohn, State's chief witness and of Richard Wil-

liams, on Cohn's interest and motive in testifying

violated defendant's right to a fair trial and con-

frontation of witnesses guaranteed by Amendment 6,

U.S. Constitution;

POINT VIII: The trial court's limitation of ...


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