On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment Nos. 02-08-2990 and 02-12-3975.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 2, 2009
Before Judges Lisa and Alvarez.
Defendant appeals from an order denying his post-conviction relief (PCR) petition. On March 10, 2003, pursuant to a plea agreement, defendant pled guilty under two separate indictments to first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and third- degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). As recommended in the plea agreement, he was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment with an 85% parole disqualifier pursuant to the No Early release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, on the robbery conviction and a concurrent three-year term on the CDS conviction. Because his appeal pertained only to sentencing issues the matter was placed on our excessive sentence oral argument calendar. See R. 2:9-11. By order of February 9, 2005, we affirmed defendant's sentence. State v. Pinckney, No. A-6088-03T4 (App. Div. February 10, 2005). Defendant did not file a petition for certification with the Supreme Court.
On December 28, 2005, defendant filed his PCR petition. On November 2, 2006, designated counsel filed a supplemental brief on defendant's behalf. PCR counsel argued that defendant's trial counsel was ineffective in several respects, that the trial court erred in accepting defendant's guilty plea without further exploration of defendant's mental state and because defendant's plea was not knowing, intelligent and voluntary, and that the court erred in imposing a twelve-year sentence because it failed to consider an applicable mitigating factor. The matter came before Judge Holden on May 7, 2007. Defendant did not request an evidentiary hearing. After hearing oral argument, the judge denied the PCR petition and entered an order accordingly.
On appeal, defendant argues:
DEFENDANT WAS DEPRIVED OF HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.
THE TRIAL COURT WAS REQUIRED TO CONDUCT A COMPETENCY HEARING TO ASSESS DEFENDANT'S MENTAL STATE BEFORE ACCEPTING DEFENDANT'S GUILTY PLEAS.
THE TRIAL COURT ERRONEOUSLY ACCEPTED DEFENDANT'S GUILTY PLEAS, AS THEY WERE NOT GIVEN VOLUNTARILY, ...