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State v. Jones

Decided: November 14, 1994.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LEO R. JONES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Bergen County.

Before Judges Brody, Long and Levy.

Long

The opinion of the court was delivered by LONG, J.A.D.

Bergen County Indictment No. S-0603-90 charged defendant, Leo R. Jones, with first degree robbery, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (count one); burglary, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (count two); possession of heroin, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count three); and receiving stolen property, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 (count six).*fn1

Prior to trial, defendant moved to suppress the physical evidence obtained against him as a result of a search and seizure which took place on October 18, 1989. He also moved to suppress the oral statements he gave to the police. The motions were denied.

The counts of the indictment regarding defendant were severed and he stood trial on the burglary charge. He was found guilty and sentenced to a four-year custodial term to run consecutively to the sentence he was then serving. An appropriate Violent Crimes Compensation Board penalty was also imposed.

Defendant contends that the following errors warrant reversal:

POINT I:

DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE THE STATE'S UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

POINT II:

DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE DEFENDANT'S INCRIMINATING STATEMENT AND THE TESTIMONY THERETO WERE ERRONEOUSLY ADMITTED IN EVIDENCE, THEREBY DEPRIVING DEFENDANT OF HIS FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION.

POINT III:

DEFENDANT'S FOUR-YEAR PRESUMPTIVE TERM MUST BE VACATED BECAUSE THE MITIGATING FACTORS OUTWEIGHED THE AGGRAVATING FACTORS AND/OR THE SENTENCING COURT FAILED TO PROVIDE AN EXPLICIT STATEMENT ON THE RECORD AS TO HOW THE MITIGATING AND AGGRAVATING FACTORS WERE BALANCED.

Because we agree with defendant that the search and seizure which led to the arrest violated the constitution, we reverse the order denying suppression of evidence and the inculpatory statement which was obtained as a result of his arrest; we grant suppression and reverse defendant's conviction which was based primarily ...


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