On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 01-05-0478.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 15, 2011
Before Judges Parrillo and Espinosa.
Defendant appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Defendant was convicted by a jury of the aggravated manslaughter of his wife and sentenced to seventeen and one-half years incarceration and five years parole supervision.
Defendant appealed and we affirmed his convictions and sentence in an unpublished opinion. State v. Donato, No. A-5059-02 (App.
Div. June 14, 2006). The Supreme Court denied his petition for certification. State v. Donato, 188 N.J. 358 (2006). The facts underlying defendant's convictions are set forth in our opinion on direct appeal and need not be repeated here.
Defendant filed a PCR petition on February 26, 2008, in which he argued he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to investigate and present an expert in neurology/pharmacology to show that his wife had used alcohol and prescription drugs. Defendant filed an amended petition on September 2, 2008. In this brief, defendant raised additional claims of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Defendant also filed a pro se memorandum in support of his petition in which he advanced more new claims: ineffective assistance of trial counsel in failing to present a defense; the trial court's failure to determine the reliability of defendant's three and one-half year old son as a witness; prosecutorial misconduct; ineffective assistance of appellate counsel; and a challenge to pretrial discovery. The PCR court denied defendant's petition by order dated January 8, 2009.
Defendant presents the following issues for our consideration in his appeal.
THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL
A. TRIAL COUNSEL FAILED TO CONSULT AND RETAIN NEEDED EXPERTS AND FAILED TO PROPERLY PREPARE FOR THE TESTIMONY OF DR. BADEN
B. TRIAL COUNSEL FAILED TO DEVELOP A DEFENSE STRATEGY, FAILED TO TEST THE STATE'S CASE AND ...