December 16, 2009
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-DEFENDANT,
COREY WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Criminal Part, Middlesex County, Indictment No. 00-09-01086.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: December 9, 2009
Before Judges Stern and Harris.
Defendant was convicted, following the entry of a negotiated plea agreement, of three counts of first degree armed robbery with a firearm and one count of eluding a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced to the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections for concurrent terms aggregating seventeen years with eighty-five percent to be served before parole eligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. His sentence was upheld on the defendant's direct appeal. He subsequently sought post-conviction relief (PCR) and now appeals from an order of October 2, 2007, denying the petition.
In PCR counsel's brief in support of the petition, defendant asserts that neither trial counsel nor the court adequately explained "the parole ineligibility factor of this plea" such that "he was fully aware of the consequences of his guilty plea." He also contends in a certification that he was told during plea negotiations that his sentence "would be between 3 years and 4 months up to a max of 6 years and 8 months," and that was stated on the NERA supplementary plea form. That form supports the statement in his PCR certification that "the discussion regarding the actual sentencing maximum and minimum were never fully explained to me and I believed that my sentence could still be as low as 3 years and 4 months and as high as 6 years and 8 months." On the other hand, the same certification expressly stated "My attorney explained that the range of my sentence would be between 10 years with 85% NERA and 17 years 85% NERA," the latter having been imposed. Moreover, at the time of plea the defense counsel explained to defendant what the figures on the NERA supplement were designed to refer. In any event, defendant was asked if he realized his sentence could be seventeen years with eighty-five percent to be served before parole eligibility, with the possibility of something less on the concurrent sentences, and that he was obligated to serve parole supervision following release from prison. In fact the plea form was amended during the plea proceedings to correct the language to which defendant referred on the original supplementary NERA plea form. As the plea form was amended*fn1 and the plea colloquy directly with the defendant covered the length of NERA, there is no basis for a hearing or relief.
We affirm the denial of PCR.