On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Gloucester County, Indictment No. 93-06-0254.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 1, 2010
Before Judges Alvarez and Coburn.
Defendant appeals from an order denying his application for post-conviction relief. We affirm.
Defendant entered into a negotiated plea requiring him to plead guilty to conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2. On March 11, 1997, the judge sentenced defendant to imprisonment for seven years.
Although defendant's brief suggests otherwise, the judge did not impose any period of parole ineligibility. But he did clearly explain to defendant that he had a right to appeal.
Nevertheless, defendant did not file an appeal.
Instead, defendant filed the subject petition for post- conviction relief on March 9, 2007, which was just short of ten years after imposition of the sentence whose validity he wants to now challenge. At the time of the hearing we are reviewing, defendant, who has a lengthy criminal record, was serving a thirty-five year Federal sentence.
In a particularly thorough and well-reasoned oral opinion, Judge Becker found a complete lack of evidence to support defendant's claim that the delay in filing the petition was due to defendant's excusable neglect. On that ground, he ruled that under Rule 3:22-12 the petition was procedurally barred.
We agree, and affirm substantially for the reasons articulated by Judge Becker.
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