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State of New Jersey v. Malachi Feagins

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 24, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MALACHI FEAGINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 95-04-0866.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 2, 2011

Before Judges Fuentes and Nugent.

Defendant Malachi Feagins appeals from an order denying his third petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

On February 27, 1996, a jury convicted defendant of knowing or purposeful murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) or (2), possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a, and unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b. After the verdict, the judge conducted a bench trial and convicted defendant of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b. Defendant appealed and we affirmed the conviction, but remanded for resentencing, in an unpublished opinion, State v. Feagins, No. A-5858-95 (App. Div. November 5, 1997). The Supreme Court denied certification, 153 N.J. 50 (1998).

Defendant previously filed two PCR petitions. The trial court denied defendant's first PCR petition on February 28, 2001, we affirmed in an unpublished opinion, State v. Feagins, No. A-3929-00 (App. Div. October 8, 2002), and certification was denied, 176 N.J. 72 (2003). Defendant's second PCR petition was denied on January 7, 2004, we affirmed in an unpublished opinion, State v. Feagins, No. A-5240-03 (App. Div. June 13, 2006), and certification was denied, 188 N.J. 356 (2006).

The trial court denied defendant's third PCR petition on March 5, 2010.*fn1 The court determined that the issues in defendant's third PCR petition were decided in his previous PCR hearings and appeals, and that his petition was not timely filed. Defendant appeals, raising the following point:

PETITIONER WAS DENIED HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL ON DIRECT APPEAL

Defendant contends, "as argued in a previous appeal to this [c]court," the attorney who represented him on direct appeal was ineffective for not raising "the issues petitioner requested[]" and for informing him that issues could be raised in a PCR petition "without also, informing him that ... [such] issues could be procedurally barred...."

Defendant's arguments are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). The arguments were previously raised and adjudicated. Defendant's PCR petition is barred by Rule 3:22-5 (stating that "[a] prior adjudication upon the merits of any ground for relief is conclusive").

Affirmed.


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