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State v. Hix

May 29, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TYRESS EDWARD HIX, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 04-09-1180.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued January 13, 2009

Before Judges Parker and LeWinn.

Defendant Tyress Edward Hix appeals from a judgment of conviction entered on February 10, 2006 after a jury found him guilty of third degree distribution of heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); and third degree distribution in a school zone, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. After the appropriate merger, defendant was sentenced to an extended term of nine years subject to four years parole ineligibility.

This was defendant's second trial. The first trial ended after the court granted defendant's motion for a mistrial when a police officer testified that he knew defendant from "previous investigations." A second jury was selected the same afternoon and the case was tried to conclusion with defendant's conviction.

The charges arose out of a routine undercover operation on July 9, 2004. Elizabeth Police Department Detective Christopher Flatley and his partner Lieutenant Tyrone Torner were patrolling in an unmarked car. They saw a red Toyota Camry double-parked on the wrong side of the street in front of 310 Magnolia Avenue. Flatley, who knew defendant, saw him walk up to the driver's side of the Camry, pull a small brown paper bag from the back of his pants and, after a brief conversation, give the driver of the Camry an object pulled from the bag in exchange for money. The Camry drove down the street, but the passenger got out and walked back toward defendant. They had a brief conversation and defendant again removed a few small objects from the paper bag and gave them to the passenger in exchange for money. The passenger got back in the Camry, which then drove away. As Flatley drove toward defendant, he turned and ran into 310 Magnolia Avenue and closed the door.

The officers followed the Camry and radioed to a marked police car to make the stop. When the Camry was stopped, the driver dropped two glassine envelopes containing heroin on the ground as he got out of the car. The driver and passenger were arrested and the officers went back to 310 Magnolia to look for defendant. They found him hiding in an open garage next to the house. When he was searched, $178 was found on his person.

In this appeal, defendant argues:

POINT I

HIX'S CONVICTION MUST BE REVERSED AS IT VIOLATES FEDERAL AND STATE PROHIBITIONS AGAINST DOUBLE JEOPARDY.

POINT II

HIX'S RIGHT TO CONFRONTATION WAS VIOLATED BY THE TRIAL COURT'S ADMISSION OF THE MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE AND THE THOUSAND FOOT MAP. U.S. Const., amends VI, IV; N.J. ...


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