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State v. Lasane

January 8, 2010

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



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Ocean County, Indictment No. 06-02-00365-I.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 9, 2009

Before Judges Stern, Sabatino, and J. N. Harris.

The background account of this ineffably tragic case is found in State v. Lasane, 371 N.J. Super. 151 (App. Div. 2004), certif. denied, 182 N.J. 628 (2005). This present appeal stems from the aftermath of that previous appeal, the subsequent remand, the ensuing trial, defendant's conviction, and--finally- -his sentencing.

Although we remain mindful of the fact that defendant was just seventeen years old at the time he committed the vicious crimes, we are brutally aware of the horrific circumstances that he inflicted upon his victim, taking her to a frightful, avoidable, and untimely death. Finding no merit in any of defendant's arguments, except for one relating to the sentence imposed, we affirm.

On February 17, 2006, defendant withdrew his former guilty plea,*fn1 paving the way for the re-initiation of all charges against him. On February 28, 2006, an Ocean County Grand Jury returned a five-count indictment that charged defendant with first-degree purposeful or knowing murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2); first-degree felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3); first-degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b); first-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1(a) and (b); and first-degree carjacking, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2(a). Defendant entered a plea of not guilty and, after a seven-day trial, the jury found defendant guilty of all charges.

Defendant was sentenced on March 23, 2007, to an aggregate custodial term of life imprisonment plus sixty years, with sixty years of parole ineligibility. The murder conviction resulted in a term of life, with thirty years of parole ineligibility. The felony murder conviction was merged with the murder conviction. A consecutive term of thirty years with fifteen years of parole ineligibility was imposed on defendant for the kidnapping conviction. Another consecutive term of thirty years with fifteen years of parole ineligibility was imposed on defendant's conviction for carjacking. The robbery conviction was merged with the carjacking conviction. Various fees and penalties were also imposed. This appeal followed.

On appeal, defendant raises five points of error with several subparts, outlined as follows:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AND COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR BY PRECLUDING THE DEFENDANT FROM ADMITTING EVIDENCE OF THIRD PARTY GUILT.

POINT II

THE PROSECUTOR MISREPRESENTED THAT THE DEFENDANT'S BROTHER'S FINGERPRINTS WERE COMPARED WITH THE FINGERPRINTS RECOVERED ...


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