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State v. S.P.

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


November 7, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
S.P., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 78-12-1313.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 27, 2008

Before Judges Reisner and Sapp-Peterson.

Defendant S.P. appeals from a July 13, 2007 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

In 1990, defendant pled guilty to murder and carnal abuse of his stepdaughters. In the PCR giving rise to this appeal, he contended that he only pled guilty to escape from the deplorable conditions in the Passaic County Jail, where he was being held pre-trial. However, defendant had raised the same claim in 1991 in a motion to withdraw his plea. Judge Hull rejected that application and we affirmed his decision on direct appeal. State v. S.P., No. A-4727-91 (App. Div. July 28, 1993). In a comprehensive oral opinion, placed on the record on July 13, 2007, Judge Reddin concluded that defendant's PCR petition was time-barred, having been filed more than eight years beyond the five-year time limit set forth in Rule 3:22-12(a). Judge Reddin also found that defendant's original plea hearing was extremely thorough and defendant gave no indication at the time that he was being coerced into pleading guilty. He likewise concluded that defendant was raising arguments that had already been raised and rejected on direct appeal and were therefore barred by Rule 3:22-5, and that defendant did not make a prima facie showing that his trial attorneys were ineffective.

On this appeal, defendant raises the following points for

our consideration:

POINT I: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

1. The Trial Court Erred In Concluding That Defendant's Petition Was Time-Barred And Should Not Be Considered.

2. Defendant Established At Least A Prima Facie Case Of Ineffective Assistance Of Plea Counsel And An Involuntary Guilty Plea Warranting A Full Evidentiary Hearing And Review On The Merits.

Having reviewed the record we conclude that these arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We affirm substantially for the reasons stated in Judge Reddin's cogent opinion.

Affirmed.

20081107

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