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State v. Jenkins

June 30, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WARREN DREW JENKINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 95-08-2755.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 4, 2009

Before Judges Payne and Lyons.

Following a third trial, the first two having ended in mistrials, defendant was found guilty of second-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 2C:15-1; second-degree conspiracy to commit carjacking, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 2C:15-2; first-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; two counts of first-degree carjacking, N.J.S.A. 2C;15-2; aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, as a lesser included offense of knowing murder; felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a; two counts of third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b; two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a; third-degree theft, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7; second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); and fourth-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(4). Defendant was sentenced to an aggregate term of life with a fifty-year period of parole ineligibility. We affirmed both defendant's convictions and his sentence, State v. Jenkins, 249 N.J. Super. 464 (App. Div. 2002), and certification was denied, State v. Jenkins, 185 N.J. 299 (2005).

Defendant then moved for post-conviction relief (PCR). An evidentiary hearing was held, and the petition was denied. On appeal, defendant makes the following arguments through counsel:

POINT I

DEFENDANT'S CONVICTIONS MUST BE REVERSED DUE TO INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.

A. Trial Counsel Failed To Conduct A Proper Investigation

B. Trial Counsel Failed to Call Thomas Cross As A Witness

POINT II

THIS MATTER MUST BE REMANDED FOR THE PCR COURT TO STATE ITS FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW REGARDING TRIAL COUNSEL'S ALLEGEDLY INDUCING DEFENDANT NOT TO TESTIFY. (Not Raised Below.)

Defendant makes the following additional argument in a pro se brief:

POINT I

APPELLANT/WARREN DREW JENKINS WAS DENIED HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL ON HIS (FIRST) PETITION FOR (PCR) BY COUNSEL/ALAN JOHN CLARK, IN WHICH DENIES APPELLANT HIS FEDERAL WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, AND APPELLANT WAS DENIED EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL AT TRIAL AND ON DIRECT APPEAL.

I.

The record indicates that, on July 14, 1995, John Deventer, a retired Hanover police chief, drove George and Elsie Wolf and a gardener to Fairmont Cemetery in Newark to tend a grave plot there dedicated to the Hoffmans. Upon arrival, Deventer left the gardener at the cemetery, and he drove the Wolfs to Giordano's bakery to pick up breads that they had ordered, returning with the Wolfs and their purchases to the cemetery. While Deventer and the gardener completed tending the graves, the Wolfs, who remained in their Lincoln Town Car, were accosted by two black men and taken from the car at gunpoint. The two men then sought the car keys from Deventer, but he initially fought the men off, eventually stating that he was a cop. At that point, Deventer was fatally shot in the abdomen at the command of one of the assailants. The men then took the keys and a rosary from Deventer's pocket, stole the Wolfs' car, and drove off. The bread remained ...


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