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State v. Jackson

April 14, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ANDREW JACKSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 97-12-5037.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 24, 2009

Before Judges Fuentes and Chambers.

Defendant Andrew Jackson appeals from the denial of his post-conviction relief petition.

In December 1997, defendant was indicted in a multiple count indictment that included charges for first degree attempted murder, first degree kidnapping, second degree aggravated assault, and numerous weapons and drug violations. His wife was also indicted on certain weapons and drug counts. On March 5, 1999, defendant pled guilty to two counts of third degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (counts eight and sixteen); third degree possession of a prohibited weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(a) (count twenty-one); first degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b) (count twenty-eight); second degree possession of a CDS with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b) (count thirty-one); and third degree possession of a CDS with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (count thirty-two). On April 26, 1999, he pled guilty to aggravated assault, downgraded to fourth degree by amendment, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1) (count three); third degree terroristic threats, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3 (count four); third degree criminal restraint, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2 (count five); third degree possession of a weapon without a license, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(f) (count twelve); and third degree possession of a weapon without a permit, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count eighteen).

Defendant received an aggregate sentence of five years imprisonment with eighteen months of parole ineligibility, and the requisite monetary assessments and penalties. As part of the plea agreement, the charges against defendant's wife were dismissed.

On appeal, we remanded in order that the judgment of conviction be amended to merge the conviction for possession of CDS with intent to distribute (count thirty-one) with the conviction for possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school (count thirty-two). State v. Jackson, No. A-4481-99 (App. Div. Apr. 26, 2002). On July 15, 2002, the trial court amended the judgment in accordance with this direction. The Supreme Court thereafter denied defendant's petition for certification. State v. Jackson, 174 N.J. 193 (2002). Defendant's petition for post-conviction relief was denied by the trial court on March 12, 2007, and this appeal followed.

On appeal, defendant raises the following issues:

POINT I.

It was Judicial Error to Deny the Motion for Post-Conviction Relief.

POINT II.

The Defendant is Entitled to a Remand to the Trial Court for an Evidentiary Hearing to Determine the Merits of his Contention that He was Denied the Effective Assistance of Counsel.

In Point I, defendant asserts that his trial counsel was ineffective because defense counsel did not investigate probable misconduct by an investigator with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office who searched defendant's apartment; failed to investigate the illegal search of defendant's apartment and file a motion to suppress; was negligent in presenting the factual basis for defendant's plea to count thirty-two, possession with intent to distribute CDS within 1,000 feet of a school; failed to inform defendant of his rights to remain silent and not testify, to confront a witness, and to present witnesses; failed to advise defendant of the implications and consequences of the plea; and failed to advise ...


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