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State v. Gore

October 26, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHAEL GORE, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 01-09-1181.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 23, 2009

Before Judges Payne and Waugh.

Defendant was convicted by a jury of murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) and (2); felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(3); first- degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1(b); and third-degree possession of a weapon (a knife) for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d. Following merger of the felony murder conviction into that for murder, defendant was sentenced to life in prison subject to a thirty-year parole disqualifier on the murder conviction, to a consecutive eighteen-year prison term subject to a nine-year parole disqualifier on the robbery conviction, and to a concurrent term of five years on the weapons possession conviction. The State has acknowledged that the weapons possession conviction should have merged with the conviction for murder. All sentences were run consecutively to a sentence that defendant was already serving.

Defendant has appealed both his convictions and his sentence. Upon learning that the Public Defender's Office had misplaced defendant's timely notice of appeal, we permitted late filing of that notice. On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments through counsel:

POINT I

THE COURT DISMISSED DEFENDANT'S CLEARLY STATED REQUEST TO REPRESENT HIMSELF.

POINT II

THE UNSIGNED STATEMENT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ADMITTED. (Not Raised Below.)

POINT III

THE CONVICTION FOR POSSESSION OF A KNIFE FOR AN UNLAWFUL PURPOSE SHOULD HAVE MERGED WITH THE ROBBERY.

POINT IV

THE LIFE TERM IMPOSED ON THE MURDER, COUPLED WITH THE CONSECUTIVE TERM IMPOSED ON THE ROBBERY, CONSTITUTES AN EXCESSIVE SENTENCE.

Defendant makes the following additional arguments pro se.

POINT I

TRIAL COURT ERRED DENYING MOTION TO SUPPRESS WHERE STATE FAILED TO MEET ITS BURDEN AND COURT FAILED TO FIND FACTS THAT WARRANTLESS SEIZURE OF PERSONAL POSSESSION WAS BASED UPON PROBABLE CAUSE OR AN EXCEPTION TO THE WARRANT REQUIREMENT WHERE SEIZURE VIOLATED THE 4TH AMENDMENT OF ...


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