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State v. Stevens

April 29, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
FLOYD D. STEVENS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment Nos. 02-03-0320 and 02-09-1170.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 12, 2010

Before Judges Baxter and Coburn.

Defendant Floyd Stevens appeals from an April 29, 2008 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). He is serving an aggregate twenty-year term of imprisonment subject to a ten-year parole disqualifier on two indictments. In particular, on Indictment No. 02-03-0320, after a jury trial defendant was convicted of second-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute, for which the judge sentenced him to an extended-term sentence of twenty years, subject to a ten-year parole ineligibility term. In an unpublished opinion, we affirmed defendant's conviction but remanded for reconsideration of the sentence. State v. Stevens, No. A-4458-03 (App. Div. July 13, 2006). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. State v. Stevens, 188 N.J. 576 (2006). On remand, the same sentence was imposed.

On Indictment No. 02-09-1170, defendant pled guilty on March 8, 2004 to three of the indictment's fourteen counts, for which the judge sentenced him to: a ten-year term of imprisonment with five years parole ineligibility on second-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute (count two); and a consecutive ten-year term with five years parole ineligibility on second-degree possession of a weapon while committing a CDS offense (count thirteen). On count fourteen, second-degree certain persons not to possess weapons, the judge sentenced defendant to a ten-year term with a five-year parole ineligibility period, concurrent to the sentence imposed on counts two and thirteen. The sentence on all three counts was concurrent to the term imposed on Indictment No. 02-03-0320. On July 27, 2005, we affirmed defendant's conviction and remanded for a technical revision to the judgment of conviction (JOC). State v. Stevens, No. A-4769-03 (App. Div. July 27, 2005). On October 25, 2005, the Supreme Court granted defendant's petition for certification and summarily remanded to the trial court for resentencing. State v. Stevens, 185 N.J. 294 (2005). The same sentence was imposed on remand.

On appeal, defendant raises the following claims:

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

A. Counsel was ineffective during plea negotiations in connection with Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

B. Counsel failed to file a motion to dismiss Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

C. Trial counsel failed to move to suppress illegally seized evidence in connection with Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

D. Trial counsel failed to provide copies of discovery to defendant in connection with Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

E. Trial counsel failed to obtain a transcript in connection with Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

F. Trial counsel failed to have the drugs independently weighed and tested in connection with Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

G. Trial counsel stipulated to the admissibility of the lab report in Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

H. Counsel knew defendant possessed all five copies of the original complaint and counsel's failure to raise the issue immediately adversely impacted defendant's trial on Indictment No. 02-03-0320.

I. Counsel in Indictment 02-09-1170 was ineffective during plea negotiations.

J. Counsel in Indictment 02-09-1170 failed to file a motion to dismiss the indictment.

K. Counsel in Indictment 02-09-1170 failed to have the drugs independently weighed and tested.

II. THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE THERE WAS NO FACTUAL BASIS FOR THE PLEA OF GUILTY TO COUNT 13 OF INDICTMENT NO. 02-09-1170.

III. THE LOWER COURT ORDER DENYING THE PETITION MUST BE REVERSED SINCE CUMULATIVE ERRORS RENDERED THE TRIAL AND PLEA UNFAIR.

IV. THE IMPOSITION OF THE SENTENCE WAS EXCESSIVE, ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

V. THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED IN LIGHT OF ADDITIONAL ERRORS.

VI. THE LOWER COURT ORDER DENYING THE PETITION MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT'S CLAIMS ARE NOT PROCEDURALLY BARRED UNDER R. 3:22-4.

VII. THE LOWER COURT ORDER DENYING THE PETITION MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT'S CLAIMS ARE NOT PROCEDURALLY BARRED UNDER R. 3:22-5.

VIII. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT GRANTING DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING AND THE LOWER COURT ...


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