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State v. Joseph

January 22, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ROBERT JOSEPH, A/K/A ROBERT MASSENBURG, A/K/A ROBERT R. JOSEPH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 99-07-2629.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 6, 2009

Before Judges Yannotti and LeWinn.

Defendant Robert Joseph appeals from an order entered by the Law Division on February 15, 2007, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

Defendant was charged under Essex County Indictment No. 99-07-2629 with conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 (count one); murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) and (2) (count two); unlawful possession of a firearm, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b (count three); and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a (count four).

Defendant was tried to a jury. At the trial, the State presented evidence that defendant and co-defendant Alonzo Barber exited a burgundy-colored car with tinted windows and attacked Ronald Gordon (Gordon) while he was walking with three women. The State's evidence indicated that defendant struck Gordon on the side of his head with a handgun and knocked him to the ground. Defendant then shot Gordon four times in the chest and right arm, causing his death. According to the State's evidence, defendant killed Gordon because Gordon had punched him in the face during a prior confrontation.

The jury found defendant guilty of aggravated manslaughter and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. The court merged the convictions for sentencing purposes and sentenced defendant to twenty-four years of incarceration, with a period of parole ineligibility as prescribed by the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.

Defendant appealed his conviction and sentences. In that appeal, defendant raised the following contentions:

POINT I

THE TRIAL JUDGE IMPROPERLY EXCLUDED EVIDENCE OF ANOTHER SHOOTING IN NEWARK BY A SIMILARLY -DESCRIBED SHOOTER, UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, WHO EXITED A SIMILAR BURGUNDY BUICK REGAL.

POINT II

THE SENTENCE IMPOSED IS EXCESSIVE.

Defendant filed a pro se supplemental brief in which he raised the following ...


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