On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 01-06-0700.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted January 14, 2009
Before Judges Rodríguez, Payne and Lyons.
Defendant Steven Williamson appeals from the denial of his petition for post conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
These are the salient facts. On February 15, 2001, defendant and co-defendant Herbert Behlin went inside a BP-Amoco gas station in Elizabeth. Behlin displayed an unlicensed, loaded handgun and pointed it at several BP-Amoco employees. The entire event was recorded by a security camera. The police arrived soon thereafter. They attempted to place defendant and Behlin under arrest. Defendant resisted with physical force. Eventually, he was subdued and both men were arrested.
At defendant's trial, after a jury had been sworn, Behlin was preliminarily called by defendant to offer exculpatory testimony. Behlin invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Thereafter, on the advice of counsel, and after conferring with his sister-in-law Stephanie Chambers, defendant pled to an open indictment. Defendant gave the following factual basis under oath:
[COURT]: And we're going to deal with all these charges kind of at the same time. And on that same date, February 15th, 2001, were you with Herbert Behlin?
Q: The two of you entered into an AMOCO gas station?
Q: While in that gas station did Mr. Behlin pull out a handgun, a live, real handgun that's operable?
Q: And in fact he displayed that gun, pointed the gun at the people who were working in the AMOCO station, the attendants, is that right?
Q: And you shared the purpose that that gun be displayed and pointed at them?
Q: And in fact he didn't have a permit to carry that handgun that you ...