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State v. Jiles

July 21, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
KEVIN L. JILES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 05-09-0947.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 18, 2010

Before Judges Wefing and Messano.

Following a jury trial, defendant Kevin Jiles was convicted of second-degree possession of a firearm, having previously been convicted of aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(b)(1). After the verdict was returned, defendant pled guilty to the single count contained in a separate indictment, fourth-degree failure to register as a convicted sex offender, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(d). Defendant was sentenced to an eight-year term of imprisonment with a five-year period of parole ineligibility on the firearm offense, and a concurrent twelve-month term on the registration conviction.

He raises the following issues on appeal:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S R. 3:18-1 MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL ON THE POSSESSION OF A.38 CALIBER HANDGUN.

POINT II

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ITS INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JURY, REQUIRING A REVERSAL OF DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION ON THE VIOLATION OF N.J.S.[A.] 2C:39-7(b). (Not raised below)

A. THE TRIAL COURT ERRONEOUSLY INSTRUCTED THE JURY THAT EITHER POSSESSION OF THE KELTEC RIFLE AND/OR A HANDGUN WOULD SATISFY THE POSSESSORY ELEMENT IN THE VIOLATION OF N.J.S.[A.] 2C:39-7(b), RESULTING IN A VERDICT THAT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN UNANIMOUS IN VIOLATION OF DEFENDANT'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS UNDER THE UNITED STATES AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONS.

B. THE TRIAL COURT'S INSTRUCTION ON CONSTRUCTIVE POSSESSION WAS INADEQUATE THEREBY WARRANTING A REVERSAL.

POINT III

THE TRIAL COURT VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS BY FAILING TO APPROPRIATELY WEIGH THE AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS AND HENCE SENTENCED DEFENDANT TO AN UNREASONABLE TERM OF YEARS.

We have considered these arguments in light of the record and applicable legal ...


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