On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 00-03-0886.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 4, 2009
Before Judges Cuff and Fisher.
On October 20, 1999, Shavonne Young, defendant's sixteen-year old girlfriend and the mother of their two children, died after being shot six times. Defendant was charged with having perpetrated this crime and, after a lengthy trial, defendant was convicted of: first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2); first-degree felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3); second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2; third-degree terroristic threats, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3; third-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b); and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a). Merging the felony murder conviction with the purposeful and knowing murder conviction, the trial judge imposed a term of life imprisonment with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility. Lesser concurrent terms on the other convictions were also imposed.
On appeal, defendant argued he had not received the effective assistance of counsel, that evidence was improperly admitted pursuant to the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule, that the trial judge incorrectly charged the jury on the issue of flight, and that the sentence imposed was manifestly excessive. We affirmed by way of an unpublished opinion. State v. Jackson, No. A-1978-01T4 (App. Div. July 7, 2003). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification on October 29, 2003. 178 N.J. 34 (2003).
Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief on September 21, 2005. For reasons set forth in an oral decision, the trial judge rejected defendant's request for an evidentiary hearing and denied the petition. Defendant has appealed the order denying post-conviction relief, presenting the following arguments for our consideration:
I. THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.
A. Trial counsel failed to obtain a plea agreement.
B. Trial counsel failed to properly cross-examine state witnesses.
C. Trial counsel failed to interview John Travis Lovett.
D. Trial counsel failed to request a charge on the lesser included offense of passion/provocation.
E. Trial Counsel failed to object to the double counting of an ...