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State v. Pierre

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


January 24, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
HEROLD ST. PIERRE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Indictment No. 96-10-1323.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 14, 2008

Before Judges S.L. Reisner and Gilroy.

Defendant Herold St. Pierre appeals from an order entered by Judge Stolte on October 18, 2006, denying defendant's petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

Defendant stole a car, eluded police during a high-speed chase, and crashed the stolen car into a vehicle driven by Ilse Ross, resulting in her death. Defendant was convicted of aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a; manslaughter by eluding police, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4b(3), and a host of related offenses. The judgment of conviction was entered on August 17, 1998. On direct appeal, we affirmed the conviction but remanded for re-sentencing. State v. St. Pierre, Docket No. A-1986-98 (Oct. 13, 2000). On remand, Judge Hoffman imposed an aggregate thirty-eight year sentence in an amended judgment of conviction dated April 27, 2001. We denied defendant's direct appeal from the sentence, on an excessive sentencing oral argument calendar, and the Supreme Court denied certification. State v. St. Pierre, Docket No. A-2337-01 (App. Div. July 24, 2002), certif. denied, 175 N.J. 80 (2002). Defendant filed this PCR in September 2005.

Defendant's PCR was directed exclusively at his sentence, contending that the sentence was invalid under State v. Natale, 184 N.J. 458 (2005). In a written opinion issued October 18, 2006, Judge Stolte determined that the PCR was filed out of time under Rule 3:22-12, and defendant's reliance on State v. Natale was misplaced because Natale only had pipeline retroactivity. See Id. at 494.

On this appeal, defendant contends that the trial court "erred in denying the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief," relying on State v. Nesbitt, 185 N.J. 504 (2006). We conclude his argument is without merit. As Judge Stolte correctly concluded, Natale only has pipeline retroactivity and therefore does not apply to cases, such as this one, that are no longer on direct appeal. Natale, supra, 184 N.J. at 494. State v. Nesbitt is not on point, because that case was a direct appeal from the defendant's conviction and sentence; the Supreme Court remanded the case for re-sentencing under Natale. Nesbitt, supra, 185 N.J. at 519.

Affirmed.

20080124

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