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State v. Chinchillo

August 27, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
EDWARD CHINCHILLO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment No. 03-06-2081.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted August 17, 2010

Before Judges Lihotz and Baxter.

Defendant Edward Chinchillo appeals from a May 30, 2008 Law Division order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). On appeal, he argues:

I. THE COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT POST-CONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE DENIED ON PROCEDURAL GROUNDS BECAUSE THE DEFENDANT'S FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT DUE PROCESS RIGHTS TO FULL APPELLATE REVIEW AND TO PUBLIC DEFENDER "ANCILLARY SERVICES" WERE VIOLATED.

II. THE COURT ERRED IN DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF BECAUSE TRIAL COUNSEL'S FAILURE TO RETAIN AN ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION EXPERT CONSTITUTED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL.

A. Trial Counsel's Deficient Performance Satisfied the First Prong of the Strickland/Fritz Test.

B. Trial Counsel's Deficient Performance Satisfied the Second Prong of the Strickland/Fritz Test.

III. THE COURT'S RULING DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF VIOLATED THE DEFENDANT'S DUE PROCESS RIGHT TO ANCILLARY SERVICES AS GUARANTEED BY THE SIXTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I, PARAGRAPH 1, OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION.

IV. DEFENDANT REASSERTS ALL OTHER ISSUES RAISED IN HIS PRO SE BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF POST-CONVICTION RELIEF AND IN PCR COUNSEL'S MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

We reject these contentions and affirm.

I.

On January 18, 2005, defendant entered a negotiated plea of guilty to three counts of Indictment No. 03-06-2081. In connection with count one, which charged him with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a), defendant admitted under oath that on December 20, 2002, he began smoking cocaine with his wife, co-defendant Janice Chinchillo, at 6:00 p.m. Approximately five hours later, he and Janice were driving home from a mall when Janice handed him a crack cocaine pipe. He admitted removing both hands from the steering wheel to smoke the cocaine. When the road curved, he was unable to navigate the curve because his hands were not on the steering wheel. Defendant's car crossed over into the lane of oncoming traffic, crashing into an ...


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