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State v. McGraw

March 15, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALD MCGRAW, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 02-07-0950.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 9, 2009

Before Judges Payne and Miniman.

Defendant, Ronald McGraw, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a and N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2; murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) or (2); second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a and N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6; and third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b and N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6. He was sentenced to fifty years in custody with an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, on the murder conviction, and to a concurrent term of five years on the conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon. The remaining convictions were merged into the murder conviction and dismissed. On appeal, we affirmed the convictions in an unreported opinion, but remanded the unlawful possession conviction for resentencing pursuant to State v. Natale, 184 N.J. 458 (2005). See State v. McGraw, No. A-2250-04T4 (App. Div. November 8, 2006). After certification was denied, State v. McGraw, 189 N.J. 427 (2007), a four-year concurrent sentence was imposed on the remanded charge.

On April 20, 2007, McGraw filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). After assignment of counsel, the matter was argued before Judge Randolph M. Subryan and denied by him in a written opinion. Defendant has appealed, raising the following arguments:

POINT I

THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.

A. Trial counsel failed to consult with defendant in a meaningful manner.

B. Trial counsel failed to cross-examine the State witness McGriff forcefully.

C. Trial counsel was ineffective in regards to the charge to the jury.

D. Trial counsel failed to file motions to suppress defendant's statement.

E. Trial counsel failed to investigate all possible defenses.

F. Trial counsel failed to investigate and present essential ...


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