On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 04-12-2072.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 24, 2011
Before Judges Lihotz and Baxter.
Defendant Vincent Lynch appeals from a February 11, 2010*fn1 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR), concluding there was no need for an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
Defendant pled guilty to armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, pursuant to a plea agreement and the State agreed to dismiss two weapons offenses. Defendant robbed a Rite-Aid pharmacy cashier at knifepoint, leaving behind a pill container that revealed his fingerprints. Additionally, defendant's fingerprints were found on the cash drawer, because he lifted it to check for larger bills stashed under the drawer. Finally, the video surveillance camera clearly captured his image as he stood by the register waiting for the clerk to open the cash drawer.
As set forth in the plea agreement, the court imposed an eighteen-year custodial sentence subject to the parole ineligibility provisions of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, to run concurrently with defendant's sentences under two prior indictments. No appeal was filed.
Defendant's PCR petition asserted ineffective assistance of trial counsel during sentencing. He asserted counsel failed to:
(1) substantiate his request for a more lenient sentence than that set forth in the plea agreement; (2) argue applicable mitigating factors; and (3) request the application of jail credits to which he was entitled. Defendant also maintains his sentencing was manifestly excessive and counsel should have filed an appeal. The PCR judge considered defendant's arguments and rendered a written opinion, addressing each request presented and denying relief. The court noted counsel sought imposition of a fifteen-year sentence, giving the court pages of reasoning and "ample explanation for such a request of sentence and in the process proved his effectiveness." Further, the PCR judge found there was insufficient factual support for the application of asserted mitigating factors, there were no facts presented to explain the alleged jail credit error and the sentence was not excessive, although the issue was inappropriate to present in a PCR petition.
On appeal, defendant argues:
THE COURT ERRED IN DENYING AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING AND IN DENYING THE PETITION.
THE DEFENDANT WAS ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL CREDIT FOR TIME ...