On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Criminal Part, Camden County, Indictment Nos. 01-04-1157 and 02-04-1280.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Stern and Rodríguez.
Defendant, Kevin Cooke, appeals from the denial of his first petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
In March 2003, defendant entered a negotiated guilty plea to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a, and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute while within 1,000 feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. In exchange, the State agreed to dismiss a charge of first-degree murder and to recommend concurrent terms aggregating eighteen years with a NERA*fn1 parole disqualifier.
Defendant gave the following factual basis under oath:
[THE COURT]: All right. It's now alleged under that count, Count One, that on or about 13 -- the 13th day of July, 2001 in Camden City you recklessly caused the death of Corey Smith under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value -- or to human life in violation of law. It's still a first degree offense, but the maximum is now 30 years, not the life sentence. How do you plead to that charge, guilty or not guilty?
Q: On July 13th, 2001 you were in Camden City, correct?
Q: And at some point during the course of that particular day you encountered Corey Smith, correct?
Q: And you knew Corey Smith from before, right?
Q: And there was a problem that you had with him earlier in the day of July 13th, correct?
Q: No? What happened on that day that makes you guilty of the aggravated manslaughter?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Judge, can I?
Q: Yeah. You may -- can help me. Sure.
Q: Again, you were in the City of Camden on July 13th, 2001 correct?
Q: All right. And you were in an area of Camden where you saw Corey Smith that ...