On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 99-01-0102.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 6, 2008
Before Judges Lisa and Alvarez.
Defendant Alexis DeJesus appeals a February 9, 2007 order denying him post-conviction relief (PCR) and an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
Tried to a jury, defendant was convicted on May 18, 2000, on Essex County Indictment No. 99-01-0102, as follows: second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (count one); three counts of second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1) (counts two, three and four); second-degree conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 (count five); aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4 (count six);*fn1 felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3) (count seven); fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, a knife or knives, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d) (count ten); and third-degree possession of a weapon, a knife or knives, for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d) (count eleven).
On July 14, 2000, defendant was sentenced to forty years subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, on the felony murder and a consecutive eight-year term subject to NERA on each of the three second-degree aggravated assault counts. The second-degree burglary, the aggravated manslaughter, and the weapons offenses were merged into the felony murder. Defendant's aggregate sentence was sixty-four years.
On direct appeal, although we affirmed defendant's convictions, we remanded for resentencing on the felony murder to strike the NERA parole ineligibility because the current version of the NERA statute was not in effect when the offenses were committed.*fn2 State v. DeJesus, No. A-5736-00 (App. Div. February 17, 2004). On June 4, 2004, the Supreme Court denied a petition for certification on the direct appeal. State v. DeJesus, 180 N.J. 52 (2004).
Defendant filed his first petition for PCR on September 17, 2004, and refiled on June 19, 2006. He submitted a certification in support of the petition on December 6, 2006. Sometime thereafter, defendant was assigned counsel by the Office of the Public Defender, and counsel filed a supplemental brief. On this appeal, defendant's attorney raises the following point:
DEFENDANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING AS TO TRIAL COUNSEL'S ALLEGED INEFFECTIVENESS FOR NOT PURSUING PLEA NEGOTIATIONS
In his pro se brief, defendant asserts:
LACK OF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO INDICT DEFENDANT AND IMPROPER COMMENT OF THE PROSECUTOR IN VIOLATION OF DEFENDANT['S] ...