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State v. Porter

Decided: May 13, 1986.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DENNIS PORTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



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

Pressler, Dreier and Bilder. The opinion of the court was delivered by Dreier, J.A.D.

Dreier

Defendant has appealed from his conviction on three counts of first degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4. He was sentenced to a term of 20 years with a 10 year parole ineligibility, consecutive to his present sentence for armed robbery, conspiracy, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and aggravated assault. He was also sentenced to two concurrent 20-year terms for the other two contemporaneous armed robberies and to a concurrent 10-year term for the merged possession counts.

Defendant was alleged to have participated in an armed robbery of Gonzalez' Nightclub in the City of Passaic on November 17, 1980, during which the other perpetrators were armed with a handgun, described by defendant as inoperable, and a tree branch. Since the inculpating statements of the others involved were not admissible in this case, defendant's participation was established primarily on the basis of his confession.

On this appeal defendant has urged eleven bases for reversal:

POINT I.

The court below erred in admitting defendant's confession into evidence since it was the fruit of unethical conduct by the Passaic County Prosecutor's office.

POINT II.

The court below abused its discretion in prohibiting the defense from cross-examining the state's witness, Barry Skwiersky, Esquire, concerning his conduct in taking defendant's confession.

POINT III.

The defendant was deprived of his right to a speedy trial guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions.

POINT IV.

The court below erred in failing to merge the convictions of possession of weapons into the convictions of robbery.

POINT V.

The court below erred in failing to charge the jury that the state had the burden to prove that the gun was operable in order to find the defendant guilty of robbery in the first degree and guilty of possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes.

POINT VI.

The court below abused its discretion in allowing testimony of defendant's prior convictions to impeach his credibility.

POINT VII.

The allowance of testimony of defendant's prior conviction of burglary to impeach his credibility was error under the doctrine of collateral estoppel and/or because of defendant's minority at the time of its commission.

POINT VIII.

The admission of the uncertified transcript prepared from defendant's taped confession was ...


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