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State v. Bishop

March 31, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
GARLAND L. BISHOP, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment Nos. 03-09-1007, 03-09-0961 and 03-09-0955.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 8, 2010

Before Judges Yannotti and Chambers.

Defendant Garland Bishop appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief regarding his conviction and sentence under three indictments arising out of three armed robberies. Indictment No. 03-09-00955 arose out of the robbery of a gas station in Fanwood on September 30, 2002. Indictment No. 03-09-01007 arose out of the robbery of a Burger King in Plainfield on October 4, 2002. Indictment No. 03-09-00961 arose out of the robbery of a CVS in Scotch Plains on October 5, 2002. Two co-defendants were also involved in these three robberies.

Defendant's guilty pleas were taken on December 6, 2004. On September 23, 2005, his motion to withdraw the pleas was denied, and he was sentenced. At sentencing, the trial court found aggravating factor three, the risk defendant would commit another offense, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(3); aggravating factor six, defendant's prior record and seriousness of convicted offense, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(6); and aggravating factor nine, the need for deterrence, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(9). The trial court did not find any mitigating factors.

Defendant's case thereafter appeared on our excessive sentencing calendar, and we remanded the case back to the trial court for resentencing on two of the indictments. Defendant was thereafter resentenced in accordance with the remand. As a result of these events, defendant currently stands convicted and sentenced on the three indictments as follows.

On Indictment No. 03-09-01007, defendant pled guilty to count one, first degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and count three, third degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a). The trial judge sentenced defendant to twenty years of imprisonment with an eighty-five percent parole disqualifier on the robbery count and a flat five years on the weapons count.

On Indictment No. 03-09-00961, defendant pled guilty to count one, second degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. Although defendant was originally sentenced to twenty years in state prison with an eighty-five percent parole disqualifier on this count, on remand, defendant received the reduced sentence of ten years with a period of eighty-five percent parole ineligibility.

On Indictment No. 03-09-00955, defendant pled guilty to first degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. On resentencing, defendant received a term of imprisonment of twenty years, with an eighty-five percent parole disqualifier.

The sentences on the three indictments run concurrently.

After resentencing, defendant then filed this petition for post-conviction relief, which was denied by the trial court without an evidentiary hearing. Defendant now appeals that decision, raising the following issues:

POINT I

DEFENDANT WAS DENIED HIS FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL AT TRIAL DUE TO TRIAL COUNSEL'S FAILURE TO ...


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