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State v. Brown

June 30, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHAEL BROWN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Somerset County, Indictment No. 03-01-0043.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 30, 2009

Before Judges Lihotz and Messano.

Defendant Michael Brown appeals from the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. He presents the following points for our consideration:

POINT I

THE COURT ERRED IN DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF BECAUSE TRIAL COUNSEL'S FAILURE TO PRODUCE TAWANDA WILFONG AS A DEFENSE WITNESS AT TRIAL SATISFIED BOTH PRONGS OF THE STRICKLAND/FRITZ TEST FOR INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL.

POINT II

THE COURT APPLIED AN ERRONEOUS LEGAL STANDARD IN DEN[Y]ING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

POINT III

THE COURT'S RULING DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF VIOLATED THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL AS GUARANTEED BY THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I, PARAGRAPH 10, OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION.

POINT IV

DEFENDANT REASSERTS ALL OTHER ISSUES RAISED IN HIS PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

We have considered these arguments in light of the record and applicable legal standards. While we do not reach the ultimate merits of defendant's request for relief, we conclude he presented sufficient evidence to warrant a plenary hearing on the petition. We therefore ...


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