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State v. Carrasquillo

March 3, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
SHAKUR CARRASQUILLO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, Indictment No. 03-06-0749.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 30, 2009

Before Judges Cuff, C.L. Miniman and Baxter.

Defendant, Shakur Carrasquillo, appeals from his February 9, 2007 conviction following a trial by jury on nine counts of a thirteen-count indictment*fn1 that charged him with second-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree conspiracy to commit burglary, first-degree robbery, third-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fourth-degree aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, and third-degree credit card theft. After appropriate merger of counts, the judge sentenced defendant on count four, first-degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b)(1), to a thirty-year term of imprisonment subject to the eighty-five percent parole ineligibility term of the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Appropriate fines and penalties were imposed.

On appeal, defendant raises the following claims:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE ITEMS SEIZED FROM THE QUEENS MOTEL ROOM

A. The State did not prove that the warrantless entry and search of the motel room fell within an exception to the warrant requirement under the United States and New Jersey Constitutions.

B. The inevitable discovery doctrine, as articulated under the United States and New Jersey Constitutions, did not render the unlawfully seized items admissible.

C. Even if the evidence was admissible under United States and New Jersey constitutional law, the evidence was inadmissible under the constitutional law of New York, where the search occurred, requiring suppression of the items seized in the New Jersey trial.

D. Because the evidence was erroneously admitted at trial, defendant's conviction must be reversed.

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE INDICTMENT BECAUSE THE STATE VIOLATED THE INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS

III. DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION FOR FIRST-DEGREE KIDNAPPING SHOULD BE VACATED (plain error)

A. The conviction stands on insufficient evidence; permitting it to stand would violate defendant's double jeopardy rights.

B. The trial court's charges on the "released unharmed" finding required for first-degree kidnapping was inadequate.

IV. DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE IS EXCESSIVE

In a pro se supplemental brief, defendant also argues:

I. DURING THE HEARING ON THE MOTION TO DISMISS THE INDICTMENT FOR VIOLATION OF THE INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS THE PROSECUTOR COMMITTED MISCONDUCT BY KNOWINGLY FAILING TO CORRECT THE MISREPRESENTATIONS MADE TO THE COURT THAT THE DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE FROM NEW YORK STATE HAD EXPIRED WHEN THE PROSECUTOR POSSESSED INFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY AND THE MISREPRESENTATION FORMED THE BASIS OF THE TRIAL COURT'S RULING. THEREFORE THE RULING SHOULD BE REVERSED AND THE INDICTMENT SHOULD BE DISMISSED AS WARRANTED.

IV. DEFENDANT WAS DEPRIVED OF HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT BY THE INTRODUCTION OF HEARSAY TESTIMONY OF A NON-TESTIFYING WITNESS. THEREFORE THE CONVICTION SHOULD BE REVERSED.*fn2

We turn first to Point II, and conclude that the judge's findings of fact on the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD) issue are not sufficiently precise to permit appellate review of this threshold claim. Consequently, we remand to the trial court for more detailed findings on the three issues we discuss later in this opinion. Such proceedings are to be completed within forty-five days. If upon remand, the trial judge concludes that the State complied with the 120-day time limit imposed by the IAD, defendant may then proceed with his appeal on the IAD issue, and the other issues presented on this appeal that we do not decide today in light of our remand on the IAD issue. If, in contrast, the judge concludes that the time limit provided by that statute was violated, the judge is directed to enter an order dismissing the indictment with prejudice.

I.

...


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