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State in Interest of D.R.

Decided: June 13, 1994.

STATE IN THE INTEREST OF D.R.


Kravarik

Kravarik

OPINION

KRAVARIK, J.S.C.

The defense brought the issue presented before this court by way of a motion for reconsideration to grant the juvenile a modified sentence. This motion presents what appears to be a case of first impression. This court must decide whether a juvenile, who has received a custodial Disposition for one offense and, while serving that Disposition, commits a separate offense can be subject to an additional sentence for that subsequent offense.

Factual Background:

D.R. has, unfortunately, had a long history of involvement with the juvenile court system, beginning as early as 1981 when he was only eight years old. The incidents which precipitated this action, however, did not begin until October 29, 1992. On that date, because D.R. had failed to both complete the court ordered Perth Amboy Day Program and to make regular payments towards his fines and penalties, the probation officer signed a juvenile delinquency complaint against D.R. for a violation of probation in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:45-3. D.R. pled guilty to this charge on February 17, 1993.

On February 18, 1993, the court resentenced D.R. to a custodial Disposition which had been previously imposed and suspended. This Disposition was not to exceed a term of two years incarceration in the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. This court also applied a credit to D.R.'s term of eighty-four days for time served pursuant to R. 3:21-8.

D.R. began serving his Disposition at the Ogden Residential Group Center, a satellite unit of the New Jersey Department of Corrections. However, on June 12, 1993, between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., D.R. and another juvenile escaped from the facility. As a result of this escape, on August 2, 1993, the Assistant Prosecutor assigned to the case requested that the matter be put on the court's calendar so that the State might move for a bench warrant pursuant to R. 5:20-3. This request

was granted. On August 11, 1993, the Assistant Prosecutor appeared before the court, the complaint against D.R. was inactivated and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

The matter was then set down for a formal trial call on March 16, 1994. On that date, with his mother, the defense counsel and the Assistant Prosecutor present, D.R. pled guilty to the escape charge. The court remanded D.R., then aged nineteen, to the Garden State Reception and Youth Correctional Facility and ordered a pre-Dispositional investigation to be done prior to the Dispositional hearing.

On May 9, 1994, after consideration of the completed pre-Dispositional investigation, the court ordered a term not to exceed two years incarceration in the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, said term to run consecutively to the Disposition D.R. was serving at the Garden State Reception and Youth Correctional Facility at the time of his escape.

It should be noted that at the time of D.R.'s Dispositional hearing, this court utilized the term "consecutive" solely as a means to distinguish the first Disposition in ...


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