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State v. Baker

July 24, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DAVID L. BAKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Indictment No. 04-03-0335.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 1, 2009

Before Judge Lisa and Reisner.

Defendant was the subject of a four-count indictment, charging him with (1) second-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a(1); (2) second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2a(1); (3) third-degree theft, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a; and (4) third-degree hindering his own apprehension or prosecution, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b(4). Prior to trial, on the State's motion, the theft count was dismissed. At the close of the State's case, the court granted defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal on the robbery and burglary counts because the evidence of identification of defendant as a perpetrator of the crimes was insufficient to induce any reasonable juror to find defendant guilty of those charges beyond a reasonable doubt. See State v. Reyes, 50 N.J. 454, 458-59 (1967); R. 3:18-1. Only the hindering count went to the jury, and the jury found defendant guilty. The judge imposed a "time served" sentence of 319 days in the county jail.

On appeal, defendant argues:

POINT ONE

THE POLICE OFFICERS LACKED PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST THE DEFENDANT (NOT RAISED BELOW).

POINT TWO

FAILURE TO GIVE MIRANDA WARNINGS AFTER CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS (NOT RAISED BELOW).

POINT THREE

PROSECUTOR'S STATEMENTS ROSE TO THE LEVEL OF MISCONDUCT WHEREIN HE:

A. DECLARED IN OPENING "THE STATE KNOWS THE DEFENDANT IS A ROBBER" (NOT RAISED BELOW).

B. "BACKDOORED" IMPLICATION OF GUILT USING INDICTMENTS THE JUDGE DISMISSED (NOT RAISED BELOW).

C. MISSTATED THE DEFINITION OF REASONABLE DOUBT (NOT RAISED BELOW).

POINT FOUR

PLAIN ERROR OCCURRED WHEN THE:

A. COURT FAILED TO DOWNGRADE TO DISORDERLY PERSONS OFFENSE ONCE OTHER INDICTMENTS WERE ...


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