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State v. Taylor

April 8, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LAMAR T. TAYLOR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment Nos. 07-07-1742 and 07-10-2250.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 22, 2010

Before Judges Reisner and Yannotti.

Defendant Lamar T. Taylor appeals from two judgments of conviction (JOC's) dated September 5, 2008, and from the sentence imposed. On this appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence, that there was an insufficient factual basis for his guilty plea to several of the charges, and that the aggregate sentence of four years with a two year parole bar was excessive.

Defendant raises these contentions in the following points:

POINT I: THE COURT BELOW FAILED TO ELICIT AN ADEQUATE FACTUAL BASIS. (Not Raised Below) POINT II: THE COURT BELOW ERRED WHEN IT RELIED ON THE EMERGENCY AID EXCEPTION TO THE WARRANT REQUIREMENT, THE PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE, AND WAIVER BY CONSENT TO DENY DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS [MARIJUANA] FOUND IN A BAG, WITHIN A BAG, IN A BABY SEAT AND A GUN FOUND UNDER A MATTRESS.

POINT III: THE COURT IMPOSED AN EXCESSIVE SENTENCE THAT THIS COURT SHOULD VACATE AND REMAND FOR RESENTENCING. (Not Raised Below)

Finding no merit in any of these arguments, we affirm.

A. The First Indictment

The JOC's resulted from a plea bargain that resolved two separate indictments stemming from different incidents. Indictment No. 07-07-1742 arose from a May 18, 2007 incident in which an Atlantic City police officer observed defendant riding a bicycle in street traffic. According to the police report, defendant "had a toddler riding on the handlebars" and failed to stop when the officer directed him to do so. Instead defendant rode the bicycle through a red light and violently resisted when the police attempted to arrest him. When they detained him, the police discovered that defendant had also been carrying a baby under his jacket while riding the bicycle.

Defendant was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; obstructing the administration of law, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1; resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(1); and two counts of aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5). As part of the plea agreement, he pled guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault. The trial judge sentenced defendant to four years in prison on each charge of child endangerment; four years for resisting arrest; and nine months for aggravated assault. All of the sentences were concurrent to each other and concurrent to a four year sentence imposed on the second indictment.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor recited the facts set forth in the police report, but defendant denied riding with the children in traffic and denied knowing that he was endangering them. At that point the judge refused to accept the plea. After conferring with his attorney, defendant admitted riding a bicycle in Monument Park with a two-year old child and a baby who was "a few months old at the time." Defendant admitted that the baby was in a baby harness zipped inside his jacket and that the young child was "in my arms" while he was riding the bike. At that point, the judge accepted the plea.

On this appeal, defendant argues that there was an insufficient factual basis to support his plea of guilty to endangering the ...


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