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State v. Grimes

April 29, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
EDWARD GRIMES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 93-12-1562.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 2, 2010

Before Judges Wefing and Messano.

Defendant appeals from a trial court order denying his petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR"). After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

A jury convicted defendant in 1995 of murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a; unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d; possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; and three counts of aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b. The trial court sentenced defendant to life in prison, with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility, for murder; three consecutive ten-year terms, each with a five-year period of parole ineligibility, for aggravated assault;, and concurrent terms for the weapons offenses. Defendant appealed his convictions and sentence and, although we remanded to correct an error in the judgment of conviction, we otherwise affirmed in an unpublished opinion. State v. Grimes, No. A-1454-95T4 (App. Div. Sept. 30, 1997).

Defendant thereafter filed a PCR petition, which was heard by the judge who presided at defendant's trial. Counsel was assigned to represent defendant in connection with this first petition. After receiving briefs and hearing oral argument, the judge denied defendant's PCR petition. Defendant appealed from that denial, and we affirmed. State v. Grimes, No. A-4931-99T4 (App. Div. Dec. 7, 2001). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. State v. Grimes, 172 N.J. 181 (2002).

Defendant filed a second petition for PCR in 2003. Counsel was again assigned to represent defendant on this petition, which was again heard by the judge who presided at defendant's trial. The judge conducted a two-day hearing with respect to defendant's allegations and then denied defendant's PCR petition. Defendant, represented by counsel, appealed to this court. We again affirmed the denial of PCR. State v. Grimes, No. A-6017-04T4 (App. Div. June 11, 2007).

Approximately six months after we issued our opinion affirming the denial of defendant's second PCR petition, and more than twelve years after his conviction, defendant filed his third petition seeking PCR. Again, defendant's petition was heard by the judge who had presided at defendant's trial. That judge again denied the petition, and defendant has again appealed to this court. On appeal, defendant raises the following contentions:

POINT I DEFENDANT IS ENTITLED TO AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING TO DEMONSTRATE THAT HE WAS DENIED HIS STATE AND FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL BY HIS TRIAL ATTORNEY'S FAILURE TO SUPPLY THE DEFENSE WITH AN EXPERT TO AID IN HIS DEFENSE[.]

POINT II PCR COUNSEL WAS INEFFECTIVE FOR NOT INTRODUCING A REPORT ISSUED BY [AN] EXPERT THAT WOULD CLEARLY NEGATE [THE] KNOWING AND PURPOSEFUL ELEMENTS OF MURDER[.]

POINT III THE COURT SHOULD HAVE GRANTED DEFENDANT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING TO DETERMIN[E] IF DIMINISHED CAPACITY WAS A TRIABLE ISSUE AND THE COURT DID NOT JUDGE PETITION IN THE MOST FAVORABLE LIGHT OF DEFENDANT PURSUANT TO STATE V. PRECIOSE.

POINT IV THE ISSUES BEFORE THIS COURT ARE PROPERLY PRESENTED AND CANNOT BE BARRED BASED ON NEW EVIDENCE, STATUTORY LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.

At trial, defendant's attorney argued that defendant's actions were fueled by defendant's consumption of cocaine and heroin over a three-day period, during which defendant did not sleep. He did not ...


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