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State v. Jones

October 5, 2010

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



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 90-06-1158.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 20, 2010

Before Judges Lisa, Reisner and Sabatino.

Defendant appeals from an order denying his post-conviction relief (PCR) petition. Tried to a jury, defendant was convicted of first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a). After merging the weapons offense with the robbery offense, defendant was sentenced on July 9, 1993 to an extended term of life imprisonment with a twenty-five-year parole disqualifier, consecutive to a sentence defendant was then serving. On March 23, 2000, we granted defendant's motion to file an appeal nunc pro tunc. We affirmed his conviction and sentence in all respects. State v. Jones, No. A-4070-99 (App. Div. November 3, 2003). The Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification on January 21, 2004. State v. Jones, 178 N.J. 453 (2004).

Although defendant later contended at his PCR hearing that he had filed his PCR petition sooner, the copy of the petition in the record is dated November 1, 2006, and was filed at that time. The matter came before Judge Triarsi on May 20, 2008. The judge heard oral argument from both counsel and permitted defendant to supplement his attorney's arguments with factual statements and arguments of his own. The judge found that the petition was time-barred. He also found that the arguments presented were procedurally barred because they had been decided on direct appeal. Finally, he addressed each argument substantively and found each lacking in merit. The judge also found that defendant failed to establish a prima facie case as to any issue, as a result of which no evidentiary hearing was warranted. The judge therefore denied the petition and issued an order to that effect on May 20, 2008. This appeal followed.

In the brief filed by his attorney, defendant argues:

POINT I THE COURT ERRED IN NOT GRANTING PETITIONER AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON HIS PCR PETITION.

POINT II PETITIONER WAS DENIED HIS RIGHT TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL GUARANTEED BY BOTH UNITED STATES AND NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONS.

A. REQUIREMENT OF COUNSEL TO MAKE REASONABLE INVESTIGATIONS.

B. FAILURE TO PRESENT A MEANINGFUL TRIAL STRATEGY.

C. FAILURE ADEQUATELY TO CONSULT WITH PETITIONER AND RESOLVE CONFLICTS.

D. FAILURE TO PURSUE APPLICATION TO PROCEED PRO SE.

E. FAILURE TO VOIR DIRE JURORS REGARDING THE IMPACT OF PETITIONER'S ELECTION NOT TO BE PRESENT AT TRIAL.

F. PETITIONER WAS DENIED HIS RIGHT TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF POST-CONVICTION RELIEF COUNSEL.

G. PREJUDICE.

POINT III THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY NOT ALLOWING PETITIONER TO PROCEED PRO SE OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FAILED TO MAKE THE ...


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