On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment No. 02-08-1617I.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Winkelstein and LeWinn.
Defendant, John E. Kindt, Jr., was charged, along with co-defendants, Stacey Froland-Kindt [Froland] and Matthew Aronson [Aronson],*fn1 under Monmouth County Indictment No. 02-08-1617 with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b)(counts one and two); two counts of second-degree interference with custody, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-4(a)(1) (counts three and four); fourth-degree contempt of court, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9 (count five); two counts of third-degree attempted interference with custody, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and 2C:13-4(a)(1) (counts six and seven); and second-degree conspiracy, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2; N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b); and N.J.S.A. 2C:13-4(a)(1) (count eight).
Defendant is the father of two children from his prior marriage to Anne O'Connor, J.K. and O.K.*fn2 O'Connor is the residential custodian of the children. Defendant, Froland and Aronson were charged with removing the children from New Jersey to North Carolina, without O'Connor's permission, and with the intent of permanently removing the children from the United States.
Defendants were tried separately. Following a jury trial, defendant was acquitted of the two kidnapping charges and was convicted on all remaining counts of the indictment. On February 16, 2006, the court sentenced defendant as follows: on counts three and four, concurrent seven-year terms; on count five, a nine-month concurrent term; counts six, seven and eight were merged into counts three and four.
On October 27, 2006, defendant moved before the trial court for (1) a reduction of his sentence and (2) bail pending appeal.
Following oral argument, the trial judge rendered a decision from the bench denying both motions. The judge entered an order reflecting this decision on the same date.
Defendant now appeals the denial of his two motions, raising the following issues:*fn3
I. The sentence imposed upon the defendant is violative of the principle of uniformity in sentencing in that his co-defendant received a vastly more lenient sentence.
II. The competent credible evidence does not support the trial court's determination as regards mitigating factors used in sentencing.
III. The excessive disparity, both formally and practically, between the defendant's sentence and that of his co-defendant represents a fundamental injustice.
IV. The motion court erred in denying bail pending appeal, by not finding that there is a substantial question of law ...