On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 99-10-2012.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Skillman and Simonelli.
A jury found defendant guilty of six counts of aggravated sexual assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a), and various other related offenses. The victim of the aggravated sexual assaults was defendant's daughter, who was under the age of thirteen when the assaults began.
The trial court sentenced defendant to consecutive twenty-year terms of imprisonment for three of the aggravated sexual assaults, with a ten-year period of parole ineligibility for one of these offenses, and a seventeen-year period of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, for another. The court imposed concurrent twenty-year terms for two of the other aggravated sexual assaults and merged the sixth aggravated sexual assault conviction. The court imposed concurrent sentences or merged defendant's other convictions. Thus, defendant's aggregate sentence is sixty years, with twenty-seven years of parole ineligibility.
On defendant's direct appeal, we affirmed his convictions and sentence in an unreported opinion. State v. [C.W.], No. A-1741-00T4 (June 17, 2002). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification. 174 N.J. 366 (2002).
On December 29, 2003, defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief. There was a substantial delay in perfection of the petition, and the trial court did not hear the matter until December 5, 2008.
Judge Connor, who had also been the trial judge, issued an oral opinion denying defendant's petition. On January 8, 2009, Judge Connor issued a comprehensive written opinion amplifying upon his reason for denying the petition. The judge concluded that defendant's petition was not time barred, despite the Public Defender's delay in assigning counsel to defendant. The court then set forth detailed reasons for rejecting each of the arguments presented in defendant's petition and the brief submitted by assigned counsel in support of the petition.
On appeal from the denial of his petition, defendant presents the following argument:
MR. [W] RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL BECAUSE HIS ATTORNEY FAILED TO OBTAIN A COMPETENCY EVALUATION BEFORE TRIAL, FAILED TO ARGUE DIMINISHED CAPACITY, AND CONTINUED TO REPRESENT HIM EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS A CONFLICT.
We reject these arguments and affirm the denial of defendant's petition substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Connor's oral and written opinions. Defendant's arguments do not ...