On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No.06-08-1395.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Axelrad and Espinosa.
Defendant appeals from his sentence and convictions for murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2), and felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3). We affirm.
Robert Hayes, a college student, was working as a parking lot attendant in Hoboken when he was shot and killed in July 1988. The crime remained unsolved until 2005.
In October 2005, a confidential informant (CI) told a State Police Detective that he had overheard a conversation among three Hispanic males claiming to have knowledge concerning the murder of a parking lot attendant in the early 90s. Detective Jeffrey Kronenfeld of the State Police Major Crimes Unit met with the CI two or three times. The CI identified the three Hispanic males as George Quintero, Alejandro Carral and Willie Cortez. In the conversation that was overheard, none of the participants stated that they were involved in the murder; they merely spoke about a homicide in the early 90s in which a parking attendant was killed. Although Detective Kronenfeld asked the CI for specifics of what he had overheard, he received no further information from him and believed that the CI did not have any specific information to give him.
Investigating further, Detective Kronenfeld learned from the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office about the unsolved murder of Hayes and thereafter interviewed each of the men named by the CI.
Willie Cortez told him that he had worked at the parking lot and had allowed people to take cars for joyrides in exchange for money. He was in jail in Florida at the time of Hayes's murder but had heard that Quintero and another man had gone to the parking lot to steal cars and that someone was shot. He did not know the other man but had heard that his father owned a liquor store in Union City.
George Quintero was interviewed at his lawyer's office. In his first interview, he denied being at the parking lot on the night of Hayes's murder and stated that he had heard that Alejandro Carral had gone to the Advanced Parking lot in Hoboken to steal cars with two other men, "Ismo" and "Camilo." Quintero said he had heard that Camilo approached the parking lot attendant, they argued, and Camilo shot and killed the attendant. Quintero stated that he believed that Ismo's father owned a liquor store.
In his first interview, Alejandro Carral also admitted hearing about the murder but denied being at the scene of the murder.
Through additional information received from Carral and some record checks, Detective Kronenfeld was able to identify "Ismo" as Ismael Hernandez and interviewed him. Hernandez admitted that he had been at the scene with Quintero, Carral and "Camilo," whom he stated was the shooter. Hernandez did not know Camilo's last name, but, when shown a photograph of defendant Camilo Lopez, identified him as "Camilo."
Detective Kronenfeld interviewed Quintero a second time and advised him of the additional information he had received. Quintero admitted being present at the parking lot with "Camilo" and Carral. He stated that he and Carral were approximately one-half block away from the attendant's booth at the time of the shooting. He did not know "Camilo's" last name but also identified defendant's photograph as the man he had described.
Both Hernandez and Quintero testified at defendant's trial and identified him as the person ...