January 6, 2010
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
JERMAINE WALKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 95-06-2295.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 15, 2009
Before Judges Skillman and Simonelli.
A jury found defendant guilty of felony murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3); multiple counts of robbery, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; aggravated assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1); and various other offenses. On April 22, 1996, the trial court sentenced defendant to a thirty-year term of imprisonment without parole eligibility for the felony murder. The court also imposed fifteen-year terms of imprisonment, with five-year period of parole ineligibility, for two of the armed robberies, which were made concurrent with each other but consecutive to the sentence for felony murder. The court imposed concurrent terms for or merged defendant's other convictions. Thus, the court imposed an aggregate term of forty-five years imprisonment, with thirty-five years of parole ineligibility.
On defendant's direct appeal, we reversed one of his robbery convictions and the aggravated assault conviction in a reported opinion. State v. Walker, 322 N.J. Super. 535 (App. Div. 1999). We affirmed defendant's convictions and sentences in all other respects. The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. 162 N.J. 487 (1999).
Defendant filed a first petition for post-conviction relief, which alleged ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. The trial court denied defendant's petition, and we affirmed that denial in an unreported opinion. State v. Walker, No. A-4547-05T4 (Dec. 6, 2007). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. 194 N.J. 446 (2008).
In 2008, twelve years after entry of the judgment of conviction, defendant filed a second petition for post-conviction relief, which the trial court denied by an oral decision rendered on October 31, 2008. The court concluded that the petition was time-barred because it was not filed within the five-year period allowed by Rule 3:22-12(a) and that defendant failed to show either the "excusable neglect" or "exceptional circumstances" required to justify an extension of that period. The court also concluded that even if defendant's petition was not time-barred, his arguments in support of the petition were without merit.
On appeal from the denial of his second petition for post-conviction relief, defendant presents the following arguments:
A. THE LOWER COURT ERRED WHEN IT DENIED DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING. THUS, THE LOWER COURT'S ORDER SHOULD BE REVERSED.
B. THE LOWER COURT SHOULD HAVE GRANTED APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL.
We reject these arguments and affirm the denial of defendant's petition substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Fullilove's October 31, 2008 oral opinion. Defendant's arguments do not warrant any additional discussion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2).
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