On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 93-12-1562.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parrillo and Sapp-Peterson.
Defendant Edward Grimes appeals from the order of the Law Division denying his second petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
In June 1995, a jury convicted defendant of first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3; three counts of second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); third-degree possession of a knife for unlawful purposes, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a knife, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d. These convictions stemmed from defendant's brutal stabbing attacks on July 4, 1993, on each of four victims, one of which resulted in the death of an innocent man who had merely responded to his wife's pleas for help. All of the surviving victims were seriously injured. Defendant was sentenced on September 15, 1995 to an aggregate life term with forty-five years of parole ineligibility.
Defendant appealed his convictions to this court, alleging that a statement he had made was inadmissible, that his consecutive sentences were excessive, and that the judgment of conviction contained an error. We affirmed on September 30, 1997, but remanded to the trial court to amend the judgment of conviction to reflect the concurrent sentence on the fourth-degree weapons offense.
Following denial of his petition for certification, defendant sought post-conviction relief in June 1998, arguing that his trial and appellate attorneys were ineffective. Judge Barisonek denied the petition on May 19, 1999. Defendant appealed that determination, arguing ineffective assistance of trial, appellate and PCR counsel. Specifically, by counsel, he raised the following issues:
I. THE DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF ON THE BASIS OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL MUST BE REVERSED.
A. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance by failing to consult with defendant in a meaningful way prior to trial.
B. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance by failing to assert defendant's conduct amounted to passion/provocation manslaughter.
C. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance of counsel by failing to assert a viable intoxication defense.
D. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance by failing to present an alternate theory to the State's case during trial.
E. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance by failing to locate, interview and subpoena a witness.
F. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance by failing to move for a mistrial.
II. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO CONDUCT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON DEFENDANT'S CLAIMS.
III. DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF APPELLATE COUNSEL.
IV. DEFENDANT'S CLAIMS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PROCEDURALLY BARRED.
V. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION ON THE BASIS OF PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT.
VI. THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO GRANT A MISTRIAL.
VII. THE LOWER COURT ORDER DENYING THE PETITION MUST BE REVERSED ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY ADMITTED INTO EVIDENCE ARREST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE DEFENDANT.
VIII. THE LOWER COURT ORDER DENYING THE PETITION MUST BE REVERSED SINCE THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT ADMITTING INTO EVIDENCE THE GRAND JURY TESTIMONY OF MENDEZ AND IN NOT GRANTING A CONTINUANCE TO PROCURE HIS ATTENDANCE.
IX. THE DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL DURING THE HEARING IN SUPPORT OF THE MOTION. (NOT PRESENTED BELOW.)
Additionally, defendant raised the following issues pro se:
INTRODUCTION. DEFENDANT SHOULD NOT BE BARRED FROM THIS COURT TO HEAR ISSUES ...