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State of New Jersey v. Darwin Godoy

July 22, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DARWIN GODOY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 98-04-624.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 1, 2011

Before Judges Wefing and Baxter.

Defendant appeals from a trial court order denying his petition for post-conviction relief. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm in part and remand in part.

This matter has an extended procedural history, not all of which is pertinent to the issues before us, and we have omitted so much of that procedural history as is immaterial. Tried to a jury, defendant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, 15-1; one count of conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, 11-3; armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a; two counts of second-degree manslaughter as a lesser-included offense of murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, 2-9b; and three counts of felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(3). Defendant appealed his convictions and sentence. We affirmed his convictions but remanded with respect to certain issues of merger. State v. Godoy, No. A-0808-01 (App. Div. June 2, 2003). Defendant's final aggregate sentence was life in prison, with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility.

Defendant filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief that the trial court dismissed as untimely. Defendant appealed, and we summarily reversed. State v. Godoy, No. A- 1967-05 (App. Div. May 9, 2006). Defendant thereafter filed a new petition for post-conviction relief. Counsel was assigned to represent defendant, and he filed an extensive brief on defendant's behalf and orally argued the merits of his petition to the trial court. The trial court later issued a written decision setting forth its reasons for denying the petition, both on grounds of timeliness and on the merits. This appeal followed.

On appeal, defendant raises the following issues for our

consideration.

POINT I THE ORDER DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE REVERSED BECAUSE THE COURT MISAPPLIED THE PROCEDURAL BARS OF RULE 3:22-4, 3:22-5, AND RULE 3:22-12, AND FAILED TO APPLY THE "INJUSTICE" CRITERIA OF RULE 1:1-2.

POINT II SINCE THE DEFENDANT MADE A PRIMA FACIE SHOWING OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL AND APPELLATE COUNSEL THE PCR COURT MISAPPLIED ITS DISCRETION IN DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF WITHOUT CONDUCTING A FULL EVIDENTIARY HEARING.

POINT III THE COURT'S RULING DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF VIOLATED THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL AS GUARANTEED BY THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

POINT IV DEFENDANT REASSERTS ALL OTHER ISSUES RAISED IN ...


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