On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Criminal Part, Cape May County, Indictment No. 97-06-0366.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted January 30, 2008
Before Judges Axelrad and Messano.
Defendant Robert A. Davies appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). He raises three arguments for our consideration.
POINT I THE COURT ERRED IN NOT EXERCISING ITS DISCRETION TO SUA SPONTE INITIALLY TRY THE CASE ON AN INSANITY DEFENSE.
POINT II THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL ON HIS PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF MANDATING THAT THE MATTER BE REMANDED FOR REARGUMENT.
POINT III THE COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE PETITION.
We have considered these contentions in light of the record and applicable legal standards. We affirm.
We recount the procedural history surrounding defendant's judgments of conviction that were the subject of his PCR petition by relying upon our prior opinion that affirmed his convictions and sentences on direct appeal. State v. Davies, A-3588-00, (App. Div. January 17, 2003).
Defendant was charged on June 24, 1997, in Cape May County Indictment No. 97-06-0366, with two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual contact with himself in April 1997 in the presence of M.M. and J.H., two individuals at least age thirteen but less than age sixteen, while defendant was at least four years older than M.M. and J.H., for the purpose of sexually arousing or sexually gratifying himself and/or to degrade or humiliate M.M. and J.H., N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3b, (counts one and two), fourth degree distribution of marijuana in April 1997, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) (count three), and third degree endangering the welfare of a child in April 1997, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a (count four).
In Cape May County "Superseding" Indictment No. 00-05-210,*fn1 filed on May 15, 2000, defendant was charged with fourth degree criminal contempt occurring on February 22, 1999, alleging that defendant disobeyed the conditions of his bail on the charges contained in Indictment No. 97-06-366. Those conditions required defendant to reside in Pennsylvania with his mother and attend an outpatient community mental health center there, and not return to reside in Wildwood, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9.
On December 14, 1999, a pretrial competency hearing was held . . . . During the hearing, defendant made a pro se motion to represent himself and pro se motion to disqualify his attorney on the bases of a conflict of interest "as regards the contempt charge" and ineffective assistance of counsel.*fn2 Thereafter, the judge conducted a two-day hearing to determine defendant's competency to stand ...