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State v. Blackston

July 14, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TARRON L. BLACKSTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Salem County, 06-04-0172-I.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 24, 2008

Before Judges Skillman and Winkelstein.

A Salem County grand jury indicted defendant on two counts, third-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a) (count one); and fourth-degree obstruction of the administration of law, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 (count two). A jury convicted defendant of count two, and acquitted him of count one.

At sentencing, the court imposed 365 days of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison, conditioned upon one year of probation. Defendant's judgment of conviction, however, makes no reference to probation, but commits defendant to the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections for a period of 365 days with credit for one day time served.

On appeal, defendant raises the following three points:

POINT I

THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL WAS PREJUDICED BECAUSE THE TRIAL COURT'S JURY INSTRUCTIONS WERE INCOMPLETE AND MISLEADING (NOT RAISED BELOW).

(A) THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO INSTRUCT THE JURY AS TO THE PROHIBITED USE OF THE TRIAL TESTIMONY THAT THE DEFENDANT'S MOTHER, CO-DEFENDANT DEBORAH BLACKSTON, ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA TO OBSTRUCTION (NOT RAISED BELOW).

(B) THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY INTRODUCED THE CONCEPT OF THE DEFENDANT'S "INNOCENCE" INTO ITS JURY CHARGE (NOT RAISED BELOW).

POINT II.

IN THE CONTEXT OF THE THEORY OF THE STATE'S CASE AND THE TRIAL COURT'S JURY INSTRUCTIONS, THE GUILTY VERDICT ON COUNT TWO WAS IRRATIONALLY INCONSISTENT WITH THE NOT ...


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