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State v. Guzman

June 25, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WILFREDO GUZMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, No. 95-08-0834.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued June 11, 2008

Before Judges Wefing and Collester.

Tried to a jury, defendant was convicted of one count of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1), -(b)(3), and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, cocaine, within one thousand feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. After the jury retired to deliberate, but before it returned its verdict, defendant absconded and was not apprehended for more than nine years. At sentencing, which took place nearly ten years after defendant's trial, his conviction for distribution was merged into the school zone conviction, and the trial court sentenced defendant to five years in prison, with a three-year period of parole ineligibility. Defendant has appealed. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm but remand for entry of a corrected judgment of conviction.

Defendant raises the following arguments on appeal:

POINT I

UNION COUNTY INDICTMENT NO. 95-08-0834 IS FATALLY DEFECTIVE

POINT II

THE TRIAL COURT WRONGFULLY DENIED DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE

POINT III

THE PROSECUTOR'S COMMENTS DURING SUMMATION DEPRIVED DEFENDANT OF A FAIR TRIAL

POINT IV

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ADMITTING EVIDENCE OF SEARCHES AND SEIZURES ...


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