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State v. Gilliam

Decided: May 17, 1988.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN GILLIAM, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On Appeal from the Superior Court, Law Division, Middlesex County.

Furman, Long and Scalera. The opinion of the court was delivered by Furman, P.J.A.D.

Furman

By jury verdict defendant was convicted of attempted murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 and N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1, aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a. His conviction of the weapons offense was merged into his conviction of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to an extended custodial term of 15 years, subject to a seven year parole disqualifier, for attempted murder and to a concurrent seven year custodial term for aggravated assault.

On appeal defendant raises eight issues:

POINT I: COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT WAS INEFFECTIVE IN THAT HE FAILED TO DEVELOP AND PRESENT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE WHICH WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED DEFENDANT'S INNOCENCE.

POINT II: THE 22 MONTH DELAY BETWEEN JOHN GILLIAM'S ARREST AND INDICTMENT AND THE FURTHER 10 MONTH DELAY UNTIL COMMENCEMENT OF TRIAL RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF AN IMPORTANT WITNESS CAUSING SUBSTANTIAL PREJUDICE TO THE DEFENDANT IN VIOLATION OF HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT GUARANTEE TO A SPEEDY TRIAL. (Not raised below)

POINT III: THE EXCLUSION OF THE ONLY BLACK JUROR BY THE PROSECUTOR'S USE OF HIS PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE DENIED DEFENDANT RIGHTS SECURED BY THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW JERSEY.

POINT IV: THE PROSECUTOR'S SUMMATION REFERRED TO FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE MAKING THE PROSECUTOR AN UNSWORN WITNESS AND WENT BEYOND FAIR COMMENT TO DELIBERATELY INCITE THE JURY AGAINST DEFENDANT. (Not raised below)

POINT V: THE JUDGE'S CHARGE TO THE JURY ON ATTEMPTED MURDER WAS EXTREMELY PREJUDICIAL AND ERRONEOUS.

POINT VI: THE COURT ERRONEOUSLY DENIED DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL.

POINT VII: DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE IS ILLEGAL AND EXCESSIVE.

POINT VIII: THE TRIAL COURT ERRONEOUSLY REFUSED TO MERGE DEFENDANT'S CONVICTIONS OF AGGRAVATED ...


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