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State v. Williams

March 31, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RANDY WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 00-03-0410, 00-04-0786, 01-01-0129.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 12, 2007

Before Judges Wefing, Parker and R. B. Coleman.

Defendant Randy Williams appeals from an order entered on October 13, 2006 denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

Defendant was tried on Indictment 00-03-0410. After the jury found him guilty of two counts of first degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; two counts of third degree criminal restraint, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2; second degree possession of firearms for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a; and second degree conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, he was sentenced to consecutive eighteen-year terms on each of the robbery counts and concurrent five-year terms on each of the criminal restraint counts. The remaining counts were merged into the robbery counts. He was subject to 85% parole ineligibility on one of the robbery counts, resulting in an aggregate term of thirty-six years subject to 15.3 years parole ineligibility.

On October 23, 2001, defendant pled guilty to two counts of first degree armed robbery in Indictment 00-04-0786, and one count of third degree witness tampering in Indictment No. 01-01-0129. He was sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement covering these two indictments to two concurrent twenty-year terms on the robbery counts and a five-year term on the witness tampering count. These sentences were imposed concurrent to the sentence on Indictment 00-03-0410.

On December 15, 2003, we affirmed on direct appeal, and on May 4, 2004, the Supreme Court denied his petition for certification. 180 N.J. 355 (2004).

On April 24, 2006, defendant filed a PCR petition on all three indictments, claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to (1) assert a timely alibi defense; (2) move for a Wade hearing; (3) advise defendant of his right to testify at trial; (4) prepare an adequate defense for the Miranda*fn1 hearing; (5) request an individual voir dire of jurors as to whether the 9/11 terrorist attack would prejudice them against him; and (6) appellate counsel failed to raise ineffective assistance of trial counsel on direct appeal.

The charges against defendant arose out of a string of armed robberies of Atlantic County motels in 1999. Some of the robberies were captured on surveillance videos and ultimately the police arrived during the robbery at the Fairfield Inn in Absecon. While defendant ran out the back door and escaped, his co-perpetrator was killed in a gun fight with police. The police received an anonymous tip about defendant, who initially denied participation in the robberies. After he was arrested and read his Miranda rights, however, he gave a taped statement admitting his role in the robberies.

In this appeal, defendant argues:

POINT ONE

TRIAL COUNSEL WAS INEFFECTIVE DUE TO INADEQUATE TRIAL PREPARATION AND INADEQUATE TRIAL REPRESENTATION ENTITLING ...


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