On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 07-12-2046.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 14, 2010
Before Judges Yannotti and Espinosa.
Defendant Gerald Faulk pled guilty to various offenses, charged under Hudson County Indictment No. 07-12-2046, and was sentenced to an aggregate term of eighteen years of incarceration, with a period of parole ineligibility as prescribed by the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2 (NERA). Defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction dated April 28, 2009. We affirm.
Defendant was charged with robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (counts one, five, eleven and nineteen); burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (counts two, seven, thirteen, fifteen and twenty-three); possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d) (counts three, nine and twenty); unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d) (counts four, ten and twenty-one); conspiracy to commit robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 15-1 (counts six, twelve and twenty-two); aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1) (count eight); conspiracy to commit burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 18-2 (counts fourteen, sixteen and twenty-four); theft by unlawful taking, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 (count seventeen); and conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 20-3 (count eighteen).
Thereafter, defendant filed a motion for a hearing challenging his identification by certain victims and witnesses. The motion was argued on February 9, 2009, and the attorneys placed the relevant facts on the record on that date.
The first incident, the robbery of Deonarian Kaulessar (Kaulessar), took place on June 20, 2007. According to Kaulessar, a black male entered his apartment on Clinton Avenue in Jersey City, held a knife to his throat, demanded money and took $200 and a wristwatch. Kaulessar reported the incident to the police, who searched the area around his building but made no arrests.
The second incident took place on June 22, 2007. Henry Granderson (Granderson) reported to the police that a male entered his home on Bergen Avenue in Jersey City, said that Granderson was "gonna pay" and struck him, causing him to sustain a fractured jaw and nose. Granderson stated that he chased the perpetrator away with a knife.
On June 26, 2007, Detectives Brodie and Banco of the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) became involved in the investigation of the aforementioned incidents. Granderson told Brodie that he believed the perpetrator's street name was "Wise." For reasons that are not clear from the record, Brodie identified defendant as "Wise" and also identified co-defendant Teshia Felix (Felix)*fn1 as a potential witness to the Granderson assault. On July 10, 2007, a detective from the JCPD showed Granderson an array of six photographs. Granderson selected defendant's photograph and identified him as the perpetrator.
On August 8, 2007, Sue Harris (Harris) reported to the police that she had been robbed in her apartment. Thereafter, a detective from the JCPD met with Harris and another tenant in Harris' building and they provided him with a description of a male perpetrator. The tenant also reported that she had observed a female in the area at the time of the offense.
The detectives believed that the Harris robbery was similar to the other incidents then under investigation. At the police station, Harris was provided with a book of photographs of black males and she selected defendant's photo. Harris said that, on a scale of one to ten, she was positive "as to a nine" that defendant committed the robbery.
Kaulessar was robbed again in his apartment on August 31, 2007. He reported that he was home watching television when a male entered, put a knife to his throat, threatened him and took his money. Kaulessar's wife walked in and saw her husband engaged in a fight with the perpetrator. In addition, Kaulessar's daughter-in-law entered and saw the fight. The daughter-in-law and a neighbor both saw a female standing outside of the building at the time. The neighbor also observed the male as he left the premises.
The second Kaulessar robbery was reported to the police, who found defendant and Felix in the area and brought them to the Kaulessar residence. Kausessar, his wife, daughter-in-law and the neighbor positively identified defendant as the perpetrator. Later, Kaulessar's son went to the police station to assist his father. He observed defendant there. Kaulessar's son told the police that he saw defendant outside of his ...