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State v. Cohen

March 24, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DEXTER COHEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment Nos. 06-02-0274, 06-02-0275, 06-02-0276 and 06-02-0277.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: January 29, 2009

Before Judges Axelrad and Parrillo.

Defendant Dexter Cohen was convicted by a jury of the lesser-included offense of petty disorderly persons harassment, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 (count one), and two counts of third-degree terroristic threats, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3a (counts three and four) in connection with incidents involving his estranged wife, Patricia Gilmore. He was acquitted of third-degree terroristic threats under count one, and fourth-degree criminal trespass, as amended by the court from third-degree burglary, under count two.*fn1

Defendant asserts the following arguments on appeal:

POINT I.

REPEATED REFERENCES TO MS. GILMORE AS "THE VICTIM" BY THE TRIAL COURT DEPRIVED THE DEFENDANT OF A FAIR TRIAL BECAUSE THEY HAD THE CAPACITY TO BE VIEWED BY THE JURY AS A JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENT OF THE STATE'S CASE (NOT RAISED BELOW).

POINT II.

THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED PLAIN ERROR BY PROVIDING THE JURY WITH INCOMPLETE AND CONFUSING LEGAL INSTRUCTIONS (NOT RAISED BELOW).

(A).

THE JURY INSTRUCTIONS WERE INCOMPLETE BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE OF A KOCIOLEK CHARGE (NOT RAISED BELOW).

(B).

IN ITS EFFORT TO PREVENT THE JURY FROM DRAWING IMPROPER INFERENCES CONCERNING AN UNCHARGED BAD ACT OF THE DEFENDANT, THE TRIAL COURT'S JURY INSTRUCTIONS ...


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