On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 02-12-3028.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 24, 2010
Before Judges Graves and Newman.
Defendant Karam Faddoul appeals from an order dated April 11, 2008, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR).
After reviewing defendant's arguments in light of the record and the applicable law, we affirm.
Bergen County Indictment No. 02-12-3028 charged defendant with the purposeful or knowing murder of his wife, Bahaa Faddoul, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 (count one); third- degree possession of a weapon (a knife) with the purpose to use it unlawfully, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d) (count two); and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon (the same knife), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d) (count three). On April 12, 2004, defendant pled guilty to an amended charge of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a)(1). In exchange for defendant's plea, the State agreed to dismiss counts two and three of the indictment and to recommend a sentence of thirty years in state prison with an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility, pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant also agreed to waive his right to appeal and his right to argue for a lesser sentence.
During the plea hearing on April 12, 2004, defendant's attorney advised the court as follows: "I've discussed this at great length with Mr. Faddoul. I've reviewed discovery with Mr. Faddoul. I've discussed this with him on a number of occasions and I've recommended the plea and he's indicated to me he will accept the plea." Defendant was then sworn, and in response to questions from his attorney defendant confirmed he was accepting the plea agreement. Defendant also provided the following factual basis for his plea:
Q: On June 16th, 2002 where were you living?
Q: And on June 16th, 2002 did your wife [Bahaa] Faddoul visit you?
Q: And that was at your apartment, correct?
Q: And at that point was there a restraining order in effect between you and your wife?
Q: And at that time did an argument ensue between you and [Bahaa] Faddoul?
Q: And at that point did you ...