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State v. Andrews

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


October 18, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
AMMON ANDREWS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment Nos. 99-08-2719, 99-03-0982, 98-12-4692.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: October 3, 2007

Before Judges Cuff and Lisa.

Defendant Ammon Andrews is serving a ten-year term of imprisonment subject to an 85% No Early Release Act*fn1 (NERA) parole ineligibility term following his plea to first degree attempted murder, first degree robbery, third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of school property, and third degree unlawful possession of a weapon. Defendant appeals from the April 21, 2006 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

On appeal, defendant raises the following argument:

THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL ON HIS PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

According to defendant, PCR counsel failed to conduct an investigation of the manner in which commutation credits would be applied to his term. Therefore, the plea and sentencing proceedings were silent "of any discussion of the effects of commutation and work credits as they affect advancing or retarding the parole eligibility" term. Defendant also asserts that "any period of incarceration beyond the 85% is contrary to the statute as based on facts that are not part of the offense for which the defendant was convicted," and, therefore, unconstitutional.

We have thoroughly reviewed the record in light of the arguments presented by defendant and determine that each contention is without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). NERA precludes the application of commutation or work credits to reduce the parole ineligibility term. State v. Webster, 383 N.J. Super. 432, 436-37 (App. Div. 2006), aff'd o.b., 190 N.J. 305 (2007). Continuation of imprisonment beyond the mandatory minimum term up the maximum term does not offend the principles announced in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed. 2d 435 (2000). The facts provided by defendant when he pled guilty to attempted murder clearly established that he had committed a "crime of violence" as required by the version of NERA in effect at the time of the plea. State v. Reardon, 337 N.J. Super. 324, 329-30 (App. Div. 2001).

Affirmed.


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