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State v. Kolas

August 16, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LYDIA KOLAS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 06-02-0078.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 6, 2010

Before Judges Graves and Newman.

Defendant Lydia Kolas and co-defendant Assalaam Matthews were charged in a three-count indictment with third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1) (count one); third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) (count two); and third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in a school zone, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (count three). Following a joint trial, defendant was acquitted of count three, but the jury found her guilty of counts one and two.*fn1

At sentencing on July 14, 2006, the court merged count one into count two and sentenced defendant to four years probation. The court also imposed appropriate fines, penalties, and assessments.

On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:

POINT I

REVERSAL IS REQUIRED SINCE IT WAS ERROR TO DENY DEFENDANT KOLAS'S APPLICATION FOR A SEPARATE TRIAL.

POINT II

REVERSAL OF THE CONVICTIONS ON COUNTS ONE AND TWO IS REQUIRED BECAUSE THE TRIAL JUDGE, IN HIS FINAL CHARGE, DID NOT MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THE STATE HAD TO PROVE BEYOND [A] REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE DEFENDANT POSSESSED THE COCAINE ON THE TIME AND PLACE ALLEGED IN THE INDICTMENT (Not Raised Below).

POINT III

REVERSAL IS REQUIRED BECAUSE BOTH STATE'S WITNESSES TESTIFIED THAT THE CRIMES OCCURRED IN A DRUG-INFESTED AREA, AND TRIAL DEFENSE COUNSEL WAS INEFFECTIVE WHEN HE FAILED TO ...


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