On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 01-04-1602.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Skillman and Simonelli.
Defendant was found guilty by a jury of felony murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3); attempted murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3; and various other offenses. The trial court sentenced defendant to a thirty-year term of imprisonment without eligibility for parole for the felony murder and a consecutive twenty-year term, subject to the 85% period of parole ineligibility mandated by the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, for the attempted murder. The court merged or imposed concurrent terms for defendant's other convictions.
On defendant's direct appeal, we affirmed his convictions, but remanded for resentencing to reflect additional required mergers, and clarification and articulation of the trial court's intention regarding consecutive sentences. State v. Terrell, A- 3850-03T4 (Nov. 30, 2005). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. 186 N.J. 245 (2006). On the remand we had ordered, the trial court imposed the same consecutive sentences for the murder and attempted murder that it had imposed originally.
Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief. By an oral opinion rendered on May 29, 2008, the trial court denied defendant's petition.
On appeal from the denial of his petition, defendant presents the following arguments:
(A) THE PCR COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF BECAUSE DEFENDANT WAS DEPRIVED OF THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.
(B) IN THE ALTERNATIVE, DEFENDANT WAS ENTITLED TO AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON HIS CLAIMS.
We reject these arguments and affirm the denial of defendant's petition substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Vichness's May 29, 2008 oral opinion.
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