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State v. Compton

October 8, 1997

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DAVID T. COMPTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Criminal Part, Essex County.

Approved for Publication October 8, 1997.

Before Judges Havey, Kestin and Eichen. The opinion of the court was delivered by Kestin, J.A.D.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kestin

The opinion of the court was delivered by

KESTIN, J.A.D.

Defendant was charged with the murder of his four-and-one-half-month-old son, Ronald, and with second degree endangering the welfare of the child. He was convicted of lesser-included first degree aggravated manslaughter and of endangering as charged. After defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal pursuant to R. 3:18-2 was denied, he was sentenced to the presumptive twenty-year term for the manslaughter conviction, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1f(1)(a), along with a concurrent presumptive term of seven years for the endangering conviction, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1f(1)(c).

On appeal, defendant raises the following issues:

POINT I THE COURT ERRED WHEN IT ADMITTED "OTHER CRIMES" EVIDENCE & THEREBY CAUSED THE DEFENDANT TO SUFFER UNDUE PREJUDICE & AND UNJUST CONVICTIONS.

POINT II THE COURT'S LIMITING INSTRUCTION RELATING TO THE INTRODUCTION OF "OTHER CRIMES" EVIDENCE WAS PLAIN ERROR BY FAILING TO PREVENT THE JURY FROM USING THAT EVIDENCE FOR AN IMPROPER PURPOSE - PROOF OF DEFENDANT'S DISPOSITION TO COMMIT THE OFFENSE HE WAS TRIED FOR. (NOT RAISED BELOW).

SUBPOINT (A) THE COURT'S LIMITING INSTRUCTION REGARDING "OTHER CRIMES" WAS NOT SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC & THEREBY FAILED TO PREVENT THE JURY FROM CONCLUDING THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS DISPOSED TO COMMIT THE OFFENSES HE WAS CHARGED WITH. (NOT RAISED BELOW).

SUBPOINT (B) THE COURT ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO PROVIDE LIMITING INSTRUCTIONS AT THE TIME THE PERTINENT EVIDENCE WAS ADMITTED AT TRIAL. (NOT RAISED BELOW).

POINT III IT WAS PLAIN ERROR FOR THE COURT TO ADMIT TESTIMONY THAT CAUSED THE DEFENDANT UNDUE PREJUDICE & PREVENTED HIM FROM RECEIVING A FAIR TRIAL & RESULTED IN A MANIFEST INJUSTICE - HIS UNWARRANTED CONVICTION OF AGGRAVATED MANSLAUGHTER AND ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD. (NOT RAISED BELOW).

SUBPOINT (A) THE COURT ERRED WHEN IT ADMITTED EXPERT TESTIMONY FROM DR. SINQUEE ON THE SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME. (NOT RAISED BELOW).

SUBPOINT (B) DR. SINQUEE WAS NOT PROPERLY QUALIFIED BY THE COURT TO OFFER HER PURPORTED EXPERT OPINION ON THE SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME - WHICH CAUSED ...


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