May 7, 2010
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
WILLIE WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 722-81.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted April 27, 2010
Before Judges Skillman and Simonelli.
This is an appeal from the denial of a fourth petition for post-conviction relief.
Defendant was found guilty of a murder committed in Trenton State Prison on March 14, 1981. The judgment of conviction was entered on May 20, 1982.
On his direct appeal, we affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence in an unreported opinion. State v. Williams, A- 4815-81T4 (Nov. 4, 1985), and the Supreme Court denied his petition for certification, 103 N.J. 467 (1986). Since then, we have affirmed the denial of defendant's first three petitions for post-conviction relief. State v. Williams, A-6020-86T4 (June 7, 1988), certif. denied, 113 N.J. 362 (1988); State v. Williams, A-2744-93T4 (Oct. 26, 1995), certif. denied, 143 N.J. 520 (1996); State v. Williams, A-2951-00T4 (Feb. 20, 2003), certif. denied, 177 N.J. 493 (2003).
The trial court summarily denied defendant's fourth petition for post-conviction relief, concluding that "defendant's arguments are without merit and have been previously adjudicated, pursuant to Rule 3:22-12 and Rule 3:22- 5."
On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:
AN ILLEGAL SENTENCE CAN BE CORRECTED AT ANY TIME, R. 3:22-12.
WILLIAMS WAS SENTENCED TO A DISCRETIONARY LIFE SENTENCE.
THE COURT DOUBLE-COUNTED ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME AS AGGRAVATING FACTORS 2C:44-1a(1), (2), AND (6) TO DETERMINE WILLIAMS'S DISCRETIONARY EXTENDED TERM LIFE SENTENCE IN VIOLATION OF NEW JERSEY LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
I. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT A LIFE SENTENCE UNDER 2C:11-3 AND 2C:43-7 IS ORDINARY, THE SENTENCE MUST BE FASHIONED USING AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS, 2C:44-1a and b.
II. WEIGHING AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS IS REQUIRED IN WILLIAMS'S DISCRETIONARY LIFE SENTENCE.
III. THE COURT DOUBLE-COUNTED ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME AS AGGRAVATING FACTORS, 2C:44-1a(1) and (2). STATE V. WILLIE WILLIAMS, DOCKET NO. A-5135-08T4.
IV. THERE IS NO FACTUAL BASIS OR COMPETENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE COURT'S ASSESSMENT THAT THE MURDER OF MR. MURPHY WAS COMMITTED IN A "HEINOUS, CRUEL, AND DEPRAVED" MANNER UNDER AGGRAVATING FACTOR 2C:44-1a(1).
V. THE COURT DOUBLE-COUNTED WILLIAMS'S PRIOR RECORD AGGRAVATING FACTOR, 2C:44-1a(6) TO FASHION HIS SENTENCE.
DOUBLE-COUNTING AGGRAVATING FACTORS REQUIRES THAT WILLIAMS IS RE-SENTENCED.
Defendant's arguments are clearly without merit. R. 2:11- 3(e)(2). We only note that none of defendant's arguments relate to the legality of his sentence, see State v. Flores, 228 N.J. Super. 586, 590-97 (App. Div. 1988), certif. denied, 115 N.J. 78 (1989), and thus the five-year limitations period on the filing of petitions for post-conviction relief provided by Rule 3:22- 12(a) applies to defendant's petition.
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