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State v. Carley

March 11, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MATTHEW CARLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On Appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 05-11-1605.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 3, 2010

Before Judges Stern and J. N. Harris.

On November 28, 2005, defendant was indicted for first- degree conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3; first-degree attempted murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1, N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6, and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3; second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2; second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a); third-degree possession of a handgun without first having obtained a permit to carry the same, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b); second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1); and fourth-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(4). More than twenty-six months later, on February 15, 2008, defendant negotiated a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to only the charges of first-degree conspiracy, second-degree burglary, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. In exchange for this plea, the State agreed to recommend a maximum aggregate sentence of ten years incarceration subject to the eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility mandated by the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant also agreed to provide truthful testimony at trial against co-defendant April Russo.*fn1

While under oath, defendant gave the following factual basis to support his plea:

Q: All right. Matt, on August 16, 2005, did you know a person by the name of April Russo?

A: I did.

Q: And you were in a relationship with her, correct?

A: Yes.

Q: She was your girlfriend, right?

A: Something of that sort, yes.

Q: Yes. Okay. Now, did you, and she reach an agreement that her husband, Brian Grogan would ultimately be killed?

A: Yes.

Q: And when I say that, you knew that she wanted that to occur, correct?

A: I had known that she had -- yes, she had said -- talked about it prior to, yes.

Q: Many times, right? Yes?

A: Several instances, yes.

Q: Okay. Now, on -- August 16, 2005, in the wee hours of the morning did you go to the house of Brian Grogan, and April Russo, located . . . in Clifton, New Jersey?

A: I went to their house that night, yes.

Q: Okay. Now you -- you went to the back door of the house, correct?

A: I went through the garage.

Q: Okay. And Ms. Russo met you at the door, correct?

A: Yes.

Q: And when you entered into the residence she gave you a -- gun -- a handgun, correct?

A: It was in a paper bag, that is correct.

Q: A McDonald's bag I believe ...


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