July 3, 2007
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
SHURA JOHNSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Law Division, 04-09-1446.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted June 19, 2007
Before Judges Stern and Coburn.
A jury found defendant guilty of second-degree eluding, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b, and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1), and Judge Gelade imposed consecutive sentences resulting in an aggregate prison term of eleven years.
The facts are uncomplicated. The police observed defendant trying to sell drugs from his car. An officer approached and defendant sped off, knocking the buyer down. He drove through four stop signs without stopping, made an illegal U-turn, and was finally stopped by the police. Defendant was in possession of over $1,600 and a bag of cocaine.
On appeal, defendant offers the following arguments:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ALLOWING IDENTIFICATION EVIDENCE AT TRIAL
THE TRIAL COURT'S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JURY WERE FATALLY FLAWED AND DEPRIVED DEFENDANT OF A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL TRIAL BECAUSE THE TRIAL JUDGE DID NOT INSTRUCT THE JURY AS REQUESTED
THE JURY'S VERDICTS WERE AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE (Not Raised Below)
THE SENTENCE IMPOSED BELOW WAS MANIFESTLY EXCESSIVE
After carefully considering the record and briefs, we are satisfied that all of defendants arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant consideration in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). Nonetheless, we add the following comments.
The identification testimony concerned another indictment and was not admitted in this case. Consequently, the argument contained in Point I of defendant's brief is irrelevant. There was no rational basis for a conspiracy charge, State v. Savage, 172 N.J. 374, 396 (2002), and the evidence of guilt was substantial. Defendant's sentencing arguments are unworthy of comment.
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