On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County.
Before Judges Pressler, Conley and Carchman.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Conley, J.A.D.
Tried by a jury, defendant was convicted of carjacking, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2(a)(2) (count one), armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (count two), conspiracy to commit carjacking and/or theft, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 (count three), possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39- 4(a) (count four), and unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39- 5(b) (count five). A custodial term of twelve years with a mandatory five-year parole disqualifier was imposed on the carjacking conviction with a concurrent four-year term imposed on the unlawful possession of a handgun. The remaining convictions were merged into the carjacking conviction. The necessary penalty and fee were also imposed.
On appeal, defendant contends:
POINT I. THE COURT BELOW ERRED IN INSTRUCTING THE JURY BY:
a. Failing to charge the jury on the defense of renunciation;
b. Incorrectly presenting the charge of the defense of duress;
c. Reading the charge to the jury in a rapid pace. (Raised Below)
POINT II. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN DEFENSE COUNSEL WAS NOT PERMITTED TO ARGUE DURING THE CHARGE CONFERENCE. (Raised Below).
POINT III. VERBAL ACTS OF CO-DEFENDANT WERE IMPROPERLY EXCLUDED BY THE TRIAL COURT AS HEARSAY. (Raised Below).
POINT IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY PROHIBITING DEFENSE COUNSEL FROM CROSS EXAMINING THE VICTIM WITH REGARD TO INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS. (Raised Below).
POINT V. THE PROSECUTOR'S ACTIONS THROUGHOUT THE TRIAL AND HIS COMMENTS DURING SUMMATION DENIED DEFENDANT A FAIR TRIAL. (Raised Below).
POINT VI. THE TWELVE YEAR SENTENCE IMPOSED BY THE COURT IS EXCESSIVE.
We have considered these contentions in light of the entire record and applicable law. We agree that the defense of renunciation should have been charged, but find no merit to defendant's remaining contentions and do not further address those other contentions. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). Since the defense of renunciation applies only to the carjacking, armed robbery and the ...