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State of New Jersey v. Darren M. Mcchesney

February 8, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DARREN M. MCCHESNEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County, Indictment No. 06-08-0771 and 06-09-0916.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 19, 2011

Before Judges Carchman and Graves.

Following the entry of a plea of guilty to third-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2(a)*fn1 ; and second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2(a)(1), defendant Darren M. McChesney was sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of seven years, subject to a period of parole ineligibility of 85% pursuant to the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant did not appeal his sentence but thereafter, filed a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). R. 3:22. The PCR was denied, and defendant appeals. We affirm but remand for the entry of a corrected judgment.

These are the relevant facts. On April 21, 2006, Vineland Police Officers investigated a residential burglary at the Fairview Manor Trailer Park. The victim, Cindy Bleda, reported that two containers full of loose change valued at $59.00 were taken from her home. The suspect forced entry through the rear door when no one was present in the home. The victim's nephew, defendant, was considered a suspect. On April 22, 2006, Ms. Bleda contacted the police department again because defendant had called her to apologize for the crime. Subsequently, defendant was arrested and taken to headquarters. Defendant admitted to the burglary. He claimed he had been drinking and smoking crack, and he needed money for additional crack.

On defendant's Pre-Sentence Report, defendant agreed with the events as detailed in the official version of the offense. He stated that the victim was his aunt, he took change from her home, and he was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol at the time.

Defendant was involved in another incident that became the subject of another indictment. On June 23, 2006, at 3:16 a.m., Millville Police Officers were detailed to investigate a stabbing. Upon arrival, the officers observed the victim, Lisa Smolar, covered with blood on her face, legs and chest. The officers observed a stab wound to the victim's chest, a cut to her face and a stab wound to her inner thigh. She was taken to the emergency room at the South Jersey Hospital System.

The officers spoke with the victim's husband, Stephen Smolar, who stated the incident started when he heard his step-daughter, Amanda Brownlow, yelling. Mr. Smolar came outside and observed defendant, who he had known for ten years, wrestling with Mrs. Smolar in the grass alongside their trailer home. When Mr. Smolar approached, defendant ran to the porch, grabbed a handful of clothes and fled.

Mrs. Smolar's two children, a three-year-old and an infant, were present during the crime. There were allegations that defendant picked up the three-month-old and threw her out the screen door of the trailer. Moreover, Amanda Brownlow reported that she was punched in the head by defendant, and she saw defendant pick up the infant and throw her out the door. When Ms. Brownlow went to rescue the infant, defendant attacked Mrs. Smolar. Ms. Brownlow and the infant were also taken to the hospital.

Officers on the scene located a black handled knife with a broken blade and covered with blood. Mrs. Smolar was interviewed at the hospital and added that after defendant threw the baby out of the trailer, defendant lunged on top of her, Mrs. Smolar, and began stabbing her repeatedly. She was treated at the Cooper Trauma Center and released.

During the investigation, the police found that an individual, later identified as defendant, placed a 911 call from a pay phone at the Eckerd Drug Store at Main and Wade Boulevard. The caller told the dispatcher that he was high on cocaine and that he had hurt somebody. Police arrived at the store and located and arrested defendant.

In the Pre-Sentence Report, defendant admitted going to the residence and stabbing the victim. He reported that he was under the influence of alcohol and ecstasy which he had not used before. He could not explain why he attacked the victim. He expressed no remorse for the attack or ...


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