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State v. Reevey

April 10, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JARON D. REEVEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment No. 03-11-2080.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued: March 12, 2008

Before Judges Axelrad, Payne and Messano.

Defendant Jaron D. Reevey appeals from his conviction and sentence. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) (count one); first-degree felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(3) (count two); first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (count three); second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a (count four); third-degree unlawful possession of weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b (count five); and second-degree conspiracy to commit armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (count six). The court merged count two with count one and count five with count four, and imposed the following custodial sentence: life with thirty-five years of parole ineligibility on count one, a consecutive eighteen-year sentence subject to an 85% parole disqualifier under the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, on count three, and a concurrent eight-year term with four years of parole ineligibility on count four and a concurrent eight-year term on count six.

On appeal defendant asserts the following arguments through counsel:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT'S INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE CO-DEFENDANT'S TESTIMONY AGAINST DEFENDANT WERE ERRONEOUS AND HIGHLY PREJUDICIAL IN TWO RESPECTS: (1) THE JUDGE SHOULD NOT HAVE TOLD THE JURY TO "DRAW NO NEGATIVE CONCLUSION" FROM THE CO-DEFENDANT'S ADMISSION THAT SHE REHEARSED HER TESTIMONY PRIOR TO COMING TO COURT, AND (2) THE JUDGE SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED IN HIS LIMITING INSTRUCTION A CHARGE THAT THE CO-DEFENDANT'S GUILTY PLEA WAS NOT SUBSTANTIVE EVIDENCE OF DEFENDANT'S GUILT. (Not Raised Below).

POINT II

AS WAS THE BASIS FOR REVERSAL IN STATE V. GONZALEZ, THE TRIAL JUDGE CHARGED THE JURY ON ATTEMPTED THEFT AS A BASIS FOR ROBBERY, BUT DID NOT EVER DEFINE EITHER THE ACTUS REUS OR THE MENS REA ELEMENTS OF A CRIMINAL ATTEMPT. (Not Raised Below).

POINT III

THE JUDGE ERRED WHEN HE DID NOT DISMISS THE INDICTMENT WITH PREJUDICE FOR THE FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS (IAD).

POINT IV

THE CONVICTION FOR CONSPIRACY AND POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR AN UNLAWFUL PURPOSE SHOULD MERGE INTO THE MURDER AND/OR ROBBERY CONVICTIONS.

POINT V

THE OVERALL SENTENCE IS MANIFESTLY EXCESSIVE AND THE ROBBERY SENTENCE IS ...


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