On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Sussex County, Indictment No. 86-05-0096.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 30, 2009
Before Judges Wefing and Messano.
Defendant appeals from a trial court order denying his petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR"). After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.
Defendant was tried for capital murder in 1989. The jury convicted him of purposeful murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and first-degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b), but in the penalty phase, it did not return a capital verdict. The trial court sentenced defendant to life in prison for murder, with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility, and it also sentenced defendant to a consecutive term of thirty years, with a fifteen-year period of parole ineligibility, for kidnapping. Defendant appealed to this court, and we affirmed his convictions and sentence. State v. Mayron, No. A-2876-89T4 (App. Div. Dec. 3, 1993). In our opinion, we noted that defendant gave two post-arrest confessions, the details of which were corroborated by physical evidence and other testimony. State v. Mayron, supra (slip op. at 2). The defendant did not challenge the admissibility of those confessions. Ibid. We also said that "[t]he State's proofs demonstrated overwhelmingly that the victim's death resulted from serious bodily injury purposefully inflicted upon her by defendant." Ibid. The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. State v. Mayron, 135 N.J. 468 (1994).
Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief which the trial court denied without having entertained oral argument on the merits of the petition. Defendant appealed, and we reversed, not with respect to the merits of the petition, which we did not address, but with respect to the denial of oral argument. State v. Mayron, No. A-2116-99T4 (App. Div. Oct. 17, 2001). Following our remand, counsel appeared before the trial court and argued in support of defendant's petition. Following that argument, the trial court again denied the petition. This appeal followed. Defendant raises the following contentions on appeal:
POINT I THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.
A. Trial counsel failed to sufficiently investigate or develop a defense based on defendant's mental condition.
B. Trial counsel failed to investigate and present essential witnesses at trial.
C. Trial counsel failed to investigate the case.
D. Trial counsel failed to protect defendant's right to a fair and impartial jury.
POINT II THE PROSECUTOR ENGAGED IN MISCONDUCT DURING THE TRIAL, THEREBY DEPRIVING DEFENDANT OF A FAIR TRIAL, AND THE CONVICTIONS MUST THEREFORE BE REVERSED.
POINT III THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE THIS COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO REVERSE DEFENDANT'S ...