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State v. Davis

August 2, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JULIUS DAVIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 06-04-0481.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMITTEE ON OPINIONS

Submitted March 17, 2010

Before Judges Graves and J.N. Harris.

In August 2003, a Mercer County grand jury returned an indictment charging defendant Julius Davis with first-degree aggravated manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a) (count one); second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a) (count two); and third-degree possession of a handgun without a permit in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count three). On April 12, 2006, the grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging defendant with the same offenses charged in the first indictment. Both indictments also charged co-defendant, Andre Jones, under counts one and two. According to the State, the superseding indictment was necessary because several witnesses changed or added to their statements shortly before trial on the first indictment, "which complicated presentation of the case."

Prior to trial, defendant moved to dismiss the superseding indictment, arguing that he was denied his right to a speedy trial. On September 22, 2006, the court heard and denied defendant's motion. Defendant proceeded to trial and on September 27, 2007, a jury found him not guilty of possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose, but guilty of aggravated manslaughter for recklessly causing the death of Rasheeda Hightower under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life and possession of a handgun without a permit. The court sentenced defendant to a twenty-year prison term for aggravated manslaughter, subject to an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, and a concurrent four-year term for possession of a handgun without a permit.

On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT'S FAILURE TO GRANT DAVIS'[S] MOTION TO ACQUIT AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE STATE'S CASE CONSTITUTES REVERSIBLE ERROR.

POINT II

THE TRIAL COURT'S DENIAL OF THE SPEEDY TRIAL MOTION CONSTITUTES REVERSIBLE ERROR.

POINT III

THE TRIAL COURT'S DENIAL OF THE NEW TRIAL MOTION CONSTITUTES ...


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