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State v. Cantrell

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


September 18, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
BEATRICE CANTRELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, Indictment No. 01-10-1192.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 11, 2007

Before Judges Skillman and Winkelstein.

Defendant was indicted for carjacking, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2a(2), as well as various other offenses.

Defendant entered into a plea bargain with the State under which she agreed to plead guilty to the carjacking charge, and the State agreed to recommend a maximum ten-year sentence and dismiss the other charges against defendant. The trial court sentenced defendant in accordance with this plea bargain to a ten-year term of imprisonment, subject to the 85% period of parole ineligibility mandated by the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.

On defendant's direct appeal, which was heard on an excess sentence calendar, see R. 2:9-11, we affirmed the judgment of conviction. State v. Cantrell, A-4231-01T4 (Oct. 16, 2002).

The Supreme Court subsequently denied defendant's petition for certification. 175 N.J. 434 (2003). Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that she had received ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel and also arguing that the indictment was defective. After hearing argument, the trial court denied the petition by oral opinion rendered on December 16, 2005.

On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:

I. THE PETITIONER SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON THE ISSUE OF THE INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL DUE TO NOTIONS OF FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS.

II. THE PETITIONER'S PLEA WAS NOT VOLUNTARY, WILLING AND ADEQUATELY COUNSELED.

III. THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF APPELLATE COUNSEL.

We reject these arguments and affirm the denial of defendant's petition substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Conforti's December 16, 2005 oral opinion. Defendant's arguments do not warrant any additional discussion. See R. 2:11-3(e)(2).

Affirmed.

20070918

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