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State of New Jersey v. Thangavelu Prabakaran

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 7, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
THANGAVELU PRABAKARAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Municipal Appeal No. 2009-021.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 14, 2011

Decided Before Judges Rodriguez and Coburn.

Defendant was convicted in municipal court on two charges of trespassing. N.J.S.A. 2C;18-3(b). On appeal to the Law Division, he was acquitted on one of the charges but convicted of the second charge. He now appeals from the judgment entered in the Law Division.

After carefully considering the record and briefs, we are satisfied this his argument is without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). Nonetheless, we add the following comment.

Defendant contends that there was insufficient evidence to support the Law Division judge's determination. More specifically, he says that the record did not justify the judge's finding that he was inside the building in question. He does not claim that any of the other elements of the offense were not proven. The arresting officer clearly testified that he saw the defendant coming through the building's door and into the courtyard. Defendant claims that since it was nighttime and since there was no evidence about the lighting or where the officer was when he made the critical observation, the conviction cannot stand. Neither side went into those details during the municipal court trial, but the Law Division judge was entitled to infer from the testimony submitted, including the officer's statement that he was sure of his observations, that defendant was guilty. Therefore, we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Ramona A. Santiago in her thorough and well-reasoned written opinion filed in the Law Division on December 4, 2009.

Affirmed.

20110307

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