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State v. Brown

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


October 19, 2009

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

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 01-04-1602.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 6, 2009

Before Judges Skillman and Simonelli.

A jury found defendant guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; two counts of armed robbery, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; purposeful or knowing murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11- 3a(1) and (2); felony murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11- 3a(3); attempted murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a; aggravated assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); two counts of possession of a handgun without a permit, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b; and two counts of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a. The trial court sentenced defendant to life imprisonment, with thirty years of parole ineligibility, for murder, and a consecutive twenty-year term of imprisonment, subject to the 85% parole ineligibility term mandated by NERA, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, for attempted murder. The court also imposed a concurrent twenty-year term of imprisonment, subject to the 85% parole ineligibility term mandated by NERA, for one of the armed robberies, and concurrent five-year terms for the two convictions for possession of a handgun without a permit.

The court merged defendant's other convictions.

We affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence in an unreported opinion, State v. Brown, A-2423-02 (April 30, 2004), and the Supreme Court denied his petition for certification, 181 N.J. 287 (2004).

On June 19, 2007, defendant filed a petition for post- conviction relief based on alleged ineffective assistance of trial counsel. In a comprehensive oral opinion delivered on November 5, 2007, the trial court denied defendant's petition.

Defendant filed a motion for rehearing, which the court also denied.

On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:

THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR A REHEARING AND DENIAL OF POST CONVICTION RELIEF.

A. DENIAL OF APPLICATION FOR A REHEARING.

B. DENIAL OF POST CONVICTION RELIEF APPLICATION.

1. FAILURE TO CONSULT WITH APPELLANT.

2. FAILURE TO CONDUCT REASONABLE INVESTIGATION.

3. FAILURE TO CALL WITNESSES AT TRIAL.

We reject these arguments and affirm the denial of defendant's petition substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Vichness's November 5, 2007 oral opinion.

Affirmed.

20091019

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