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State v. Robinson

July 3, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JUAN ROBINSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 03-12-1120.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 25, 2007

Before Judges Parker and Messano.

Defendant Juan Robinson appeals from a judgment of conviction entered after the jury found him guilty of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); one count of third degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1); one count of third degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of school property, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; one count of third degree distribution of CDS, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1); and one count of third degree distribution of CDS within 1000 feet of school property in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. After appropriate mergers, the trial judge sentenced defendant to a term of five years imprisonment, three of which were to be served without parole eligibility.

The State's proofs at trial demonstrated that on the morning of May 2, 2003, Detective Joseph Locante of the Passaic Police Department was conducting a surveillance of a known drug trafficking area in the city. He observed what he believed to be a drug transaction between a man, ultimately identified as defendant, and a woman, ultimately identified as co-defendant Miluska Torres. Other members of the police force arrested defendant and Torres after the transaction and found one bag of heroin on Torres, and three bags on defendant; all the bags bore the same "logo" or "brand" marking. The detective who arrested and searched defendant testified that defendant said, "You got me," when confronted by the police.

Defendant testified. He acknowledged that he possessed the heroin, but contended it was for his personal use. He testified that Torres approached him and asked where she could purchase drugs. He showed her the three bags he had purchased and directed her to this unnamed drug dealer around the corner. He denied selling her the heroin and denied saying anything to the police at the time of his arrest. Defendant explained that he began his day with $50, spent $30 on the three bags of heroin, and one dollar on a lottery ticket, leaving him with the $19 dollars he possessed when arrested by the police, implying that this small amount of money was inconsistent with someone selling heroin on the street.

Defendant raises two points on appeal.

POINT I

THE USE OF A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION DURING PART OF THE JURY CHARGE UNDULY EMPHASIZED SOME PORTIONS OF THE CHARGE OVER OTHERS.

(Not Raised Below)

POINT II

THE PROSECUTOR'S MISCONDUCT IN SUMMATION IN TESTIFYING, SPECULATING AND DENIGRATING THE DEFENSE REQUIRES THAT ...


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