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State of New Jersey v. Benjamin Pullins

December 3, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
BENJAMIN PULLINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment Nos. 01-08-3290 and 07-09-3598.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted November 9, 2010 - Decided

Before Judges Carchman and Graves.

Defendant Benjamin Pullins*fn1 appeals from an order dated November 8, 2007, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

A jury convicted defendant of second-degree burglary, third-degree theft, and a disorderly persons offense of simple assault as a lesser-included offense of aggravated assault. On September 16, 2002, the trial court sentenced defendant to a sixteen-year extended term as a persistent offender, with an eight-year period of parole ineligibility for second-degree burglary. Concurrent sentences were imposed for the other offenses.

On his direct appeal, defendant raised three points:

POINT I

DEFENDANT WAS DEPRIVED OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL WHEN THE COURT FAILED TO QUESTION A JUROR WHO HAD ABSENTED HERSELF FROM THE JURY BOX, WITHOUT PERMISSION OR EXPLANATION, WHILE A WITNESS WAS ON THE STAND (Not Raised Below).

POINT II

DEFENDANT'S TRIAL WAS IRREPARABLY TAINTED BY THE COURT'S MISTAKEN REFERENCE DURING VOIR DIRE TO THE OFFENSE OF ROBBERY RATHER THAN BURGLARY.

POINT III

THE AGGREGATE SENTENCE IMPOSED OF [SIXTEEN] YEARS WITH AN [EIGHT]-YEAR PAROLE BAR WAS MANIFESTLY EXCESSIVE IN LIGHT OF ALL OF THE APPLICABLE CIRCUMSTANCES.

We affirmed defendant's convictions and his sentence in an unreported opinion, State v. Pullins, No. A-1538-02T4 (Apr. 7, 2004), and the Supreme Court denied defendant's ...


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