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State v. Davenport

July 24, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHNNIE A. DAVENPORT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, No. 97-09-1619 and No. 98-12-2264.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 23, 2008

Before Judges Wefing and Parker.

Defendant appeals from a trial court order denying his petition for post-conviction relief. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

Defendant was tried before a jury on two separate indictments. Indictment 97-09-1619 contained twenty-five counts, and defendant was named in nineteen of them. He was charged with a variety of drugs and weapons offenses, including the first-degree crime of leading a narcotics trafficking network, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3. Indictment 98-12-2264 contained one count and charged defendant with the third-degree crime of tampering with a witness, N.J.S.A. 2C:28-5. The jury found defendant guilty on nine counts of Indictment 97-09-1619, including leading a narcotics network, and acquitted him of the remainder. It also found him guilty of witness tampering. The trial court granted the State's motion to impose an extended term and sentenced defendant to life in prison, with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility. Defendant appealed his convictions and sentence, and we affirmed in an unpublished opinion. State v. Davenport, No. A-6102-98T4 (App. Div. Dec. 20, 2001). The Supreme Court granted defendant's petition for certification and affirmed his convictions and sentence. State v. Davenport, 177 N.J. 288 (2003).

Thereafter, defendant filed a timely petition for post- conviction relief, and counsel was assigned to represent defendant in connection with that petition. After hearing oral argument, the trial court denied the petition, and defendant has appealed.

Defendant raises the following arguments on appeal:

POINT ONE

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT DENIED THE DEFENDANT'S REQUEST MADE SEVEN MONTHS BEFORE HIS TRIAL BEGAN TO HAVE HIS STANDBY COUNSEL UNDERTAKE HIS DEFENSE.

POINT TWO

THE DEFENDANT'S APPELLATE COUNSEL WAS CONSTITUTIONALLY INEFFECTIVE, PARTICULARLY WHERE APPELLATE COUNSEL FAILED TO ADDRESS THE DEFENDANT'S COMPLAINT THAT HE WAS DENIED ACCESS TO INVESTIGATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES BECAUSE HE REPRESENTED HIMSELF AS WELL AS THE TRIAL COURT'S REFERENCE TO THE DEFENDANT AS "MR. AIRHEAD."

POINT THREE

AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING IS REQUIRED WHERE THE DEFENDANT ASSERTS A PRIMA FACIE CASE INVOLVING FACTS WHICH ARE ...


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