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State v. Dobson

May 4, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WAYNE DOBSON, A/K/A WAYNE DOBSON, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment Nos. 01-06-1898 and 01-06-1802.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued April 12, 2010

Before Judges Reisner and Yannotti.

Defendant Wayne Dobson appeals from an order entered by the Law Division on February 6, 2007, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

The following facts are pertinent to our decision. Defendant was charged under Camden County Indictment No. 01-06-1802 with first degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) (counts one and two); first degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (count three); second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a); and third degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count five). On September 6, 2002, defendant pled guilty to count one, which was amended to charge first degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a)(1).

At the plea hearing, the court asked defendant if he understood that he had been charged with recklessly causing the death of Louis Carter (Carter) under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. Defendant said that he understood the charge. Defendant stated that he had discussed the plea with his attorney and his attorney had answered all of defendant's questions. Defendant additionally stated that he was satisfied with the services that his attorney had provided to him.

Defendant then provided the court with a factual basis for his plea. He stated that on December 1, 2000, he came in contact with Carter. Defendant acknowledged that he was in possession of a handgun and it discharged. He admitted that, in his encounter with Carter, he acted recklessly, without regard to the consequences of "who got hurt or what happened[.]" Defendant stated that, when the gun was discharged, Carter was struck by a bullet and died.

On December 6, 2002, the court sentenced defendant. The court found aggravating factor three, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(3) (risk that defendant will commit another offense); six, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(6) (extent of defendant's prior criminal record); and nine, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(9) (need to deter defendant and others from violating the law). The court also found mitigating factor six, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(b)(6) (defendant was willing to make restitution). The court found that the aggravating factors substantially outweighed the mitigating factors.

The court sentenced defendant in accordance with his plea agreement to twenty-three years of incarceration, with a period of parole ineligibility, pursuant to the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. The court ordered that the sentence be served concurrently with a sentence previously imposed under Camden County Indictment No. 01-06-1898.

Defendant appealed from the judgment of conviction and challenged his sentence. The appeal was heard on our excessive sentence calendar. We affirmed defendant's sentence. State v. Dobson, No. A-4513-02 (App. Div. Sept. 17, 2003). Defendant thereafter sought review of our judgment by filing a petition for certification with the Supreme Court. The Court denied the petition. State v. Dobson, 179 N.J. 309 (2004).

In September 2004, defendant filed a pro se petition for PCR. Defendant filed an amended pro se petition in December 2004. The court appointed counsel, who filed a brief in support of defendant's petition.

The court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the petition and filed an extensive written opinion dated February 6, 2007, in which the court concluded that defendant failed to establish any basis for PCR. The court entered an order dated ...


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