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State v. Hughes

Decided: March 1, 1985.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOSEPH HUGHES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County.

Michels, Petrella and Baime. The opinion of the court was delivered by Michels, P.J.A.D.

Michels

[199 NJSuper Page 174] Tried to a jury, defendant Joseph Hughes was convicted of armed robbery in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:141-1 and N.J.S.A. 2A:151-5 (Second Count), assault with intent to commit robbery while armed in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2 and N.J.S.A. 2A:151-5 (Third Count), five counts of assault with an offensive weapon in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:90-3 (Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Counts), five counts of assault with intent to kill while armed in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2 and N.J.S.A. 2A:151-5 (Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Counts), false imprisonment in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:85-1 (Twenty-First Count), unlawful possession of a shotgun without having first

obtained a firearms purchaser identification card in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:151-41 (Twenty-Fourth Count) and unlawful use of a dangerous and deadly weapon in violation of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:151-56 (Twenty-Sixth Count). The trial court merged defendant's conviction for the unlawful use of a dangerous and deadly weapon (Twenty-Sixth Count) into his convictions for assault with intent to kill while armed (Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Counts) and further merged these convictions with his convictions for assault with intent to commit robbery while armed (Third Count) and assault with an offensive weapon (Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Counts). Defendant, who elected to be sentenced under the provisions of Title 2A rather than Title 2C, was then sentenced to State Prison for consecutive and concurrent terms aggregating 32 to 41 years. He appeals.

Defendant seeks a reversal of his convictions on the following grounds set forth in his brief:

POINT 1 DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION MUST BE REVERSED AS A FAIR TRIAL WAS DENIED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JURY PANEL.

POINT 2 THE COURT COMMITTED PLAIN ERROR IN ITS CHARGE TO THIS JURY OF SUCH A NATURE THAT IT PREJUDICIALLY AFFECTED APPELLANT'S SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS TO A FAIR TRIAL.

POINT 3 DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION MUST BE REVERSED AS MISTRIAL REQUEST WAS IMPROPERLY DENIED.

POINT 4 THE STATE FAILED TO LAY A PROPER FOUNDATION FOR INTRODUCTION OF PREJUDICIAL EVIDENCE AND THE COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING INTO EVIDENCE SAID PREJUDICIAL ITEM.

POINT 5 DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION ON COUNT TWENTY-FOUR OF THE INDICTMENT i.e., FAILURE TO OBTAIN A PERMIT AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM SHOULD HAVE BEEN SET ASIDE BY THE TRIAL COURT.

POINT 6 APPELLANT'S CONVICTION ON COUNT TWENTY-FOUR OF THE INDICTMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MERGED.

POINT 7 DEFENDANT'S CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCING FOR ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO KILL AND ARMED ROBBERY MUST BE REVERSED AS THE STATE FAILED TO PROVE THE ELEMENTS OF SAID CRIMES BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

We have carefully considered these contentions and all of the arguments advanced by defendant in support of them and find that they are clearly ...


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