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State v. Murray

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


October 5, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TERRELL MURRAY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, 94-08-2907-I.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 24, 2007

Before Judges Weissbard and Gilroy.

Defendant Terrell Murray appeals from the denial of his second petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

After a jury trial in December 1995 defendant was convicted of second-degree conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, first-degree purposeful or knowing murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) or (2), third-degree possession of a handgun without a permit, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a. Defendant was tried with a co-defendant, Al-Tariq Sutton, who was convicted of the same charges.

On February 9, 1996, defendant was sentenced to an aggregate prison term of fifty years with thirty-five years of parole ineligibility. Defendant appealed. In an opinion of June 22, 1998, we affirmed his conviction but reduced his parole ineligibility term to thirty years. The Supreme Court denied certification on October 27, 1998.

On June 26, 2002, defendant filed a petition which was apparently styled as a motion to correct an illegal sentence. On January 31, 2003, the original trial judge, Judge Winard, denied defendant's application. Defendant appealed and we affirmed in an opinion filed on November 15, 2005. In that decision we referred to defendant's petition as seeking post- conviction relief. Certification was denied January 13, 2006.

On May 5, 2006, defendant, acting pro se filed the PCR petition at issue here. In a filed letter opinion dated November 14, 2006, Judge Winard denied the petition; an order to that effect was filed the same day. On appeal, defendant, still proceeding pro se, raises the same arguments advanced in his PCR petition, as follows:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT CHARGED THE JURY ON A CONSTITUTIONALLY DEFICIENT "REASONABLE DOUBT" INSTRUCTION THAT OMITTED THE DEFINITION OF "PROOF" WHICH DENIED THE DEFENDANT OF HIS DUE PROCESS RIGHTS GUARANTEED TO HIM BY THE U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. V, VI & XIV.

POINT II

NO HARMON INSTRUCTION WAS GIVEN TO THE JURY ON THE CHARGE OF POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR AN UNLAWFUL PURPOSE. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. V, VI & XIV.

POINT II

(a): THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY DIRECTING THE JURY VERDICT, THEREBY THE COURT DENIED THE DEFENDANT OF HIS DUE PROCESS RIGHTS GUARANTEED TO HIM BY THE U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. V, VI & XIV.

Having considered defendant's contentions in light of the record and applicable law, we find them without merit. R. 2:11- 3(e)(2). We affirm substantially for the reasons well-stated by Judge Winard in his letter opinion of November 14, 2006.

Affirmed.

20071005

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