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State v. Colon

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 25, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
HECTOR COLON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, 00-06-1870.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 11, 2008

Before Judges Coburn and Chambers.

Defendant, Hector Colon, appeals from an order denying his petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR"). We affirm.

The case arose in 2000 when defendant was indicted for first degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a), and related offenses. A jury found him guilty on three of the charges, and the judge imposed an aggregate sentence of imprisonment for seventeen years, with five years to be served without parole, and community supervision for life pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4. He appealed, and we affirmed. Thereafter, defendant filed the subject petition for PCR, which was denied by an order dated August 2, 2006.

We incorporate by reference the statement of facts in our prior decision.

On appeal, defendant offers the following arguments under his first point: he was denied effective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney "was woefully inadequate in assailing the facts of this cases"; "failed to fully prepare defendant's case for trial"; "failed to effectively mount a cross examination of the witnesses"; and "failed to hire an expert to refute the testimony of Dr. Deborah Lowen." Defendant supports none of those statements with detailed analysis of the record.

Under his second point, defendant argues that he was denied the effective assistance of PCR counsel because his attorney "failed to consult with or obtain an affidavit from a doctor to refute the testimony of Dr. Lowen." In a pro se supplemental brief, defendant reiterates the arguments already made on his behalf.

After carefully considering the record and briefs, we are satisfied that all of defendant's arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion.

R. 2:11-3(e)(2), and we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Natale in his thorough and well-reasoned, twenty-four page written opinion of August 2, 2006. Nonetheless, we add the following comment with respect to defense counsel's alleged failure to obtain medical testimony contrary to that offered by the State. As Judge Natale noted, no evidence was presented at the PCR hearing that such testimony could have been obtained. Furthermore, Judge Natale found as credible the testimony of defendant's trial counsel that he and the defendant had fully discussed the issue and had agreed that no expert was required. Given those facts, the argument about the failure to rebut Dr. Lowen with expert testimony, which is defendant's main point on appeal, obviously has no merit.

Affirmed.

20080325

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