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State of New Jersey v. Larry Johnson

September 22, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LARRY JOHNSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 05-10-1419.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 6, 2011

Before Judges Alvarez and Nugent.

Defendant Larry Johnson appeals the October 19, 2009 denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

On January 30, 2006, defendant entered a guilty plea to first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, in exchange for the State's agreement to recommend a sentence of ten years imprisonment subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) eighty-five percent parole disqualifier. See N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Days later, on February 3, 2006, defendant filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Defendant was represented by a second attorney at the May 19, 2006 motion and sentence hearing. The motion was denied and defendant was sentenced in accord with the plea agreement.

Defendant subsequently appealed to the Excessive Sentence Calendar pursuant to Rule 2:9-11. That appeal was denied on March 3, 2008, and thereafter defendant filed a pro se petition for PCR, which was dismissed without prejudice on January 30, 2009. On June 15, 2009, defendant filed a second petition for PCR, which was heard on October 8, 2009, and denied in a written decision on October 19, 2009. We affirm that denial essentially for the reasons stated in the opinion, adding only the following brief comments.

Defendant raises the following points:

POINT I

THE ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF MUST BE REVERSED BECAUSE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL

A. The Defendant Was Denied Effective Assistance of Plea Counsel

1. Plea Counsel's Performance Fell Below An Objective Standard of Reasonableness Because She Failed To Investigate Defendant's Competency Although Sufficient Indicia of Defendant's Incompetency Existed

2. The Results Of The Proceeding[s] Would Have [Been] Different But For Plea Counsel's Error Because Defendant Lacked The Competency To Enter Into A Guilty Plea

3. The Court Should Remand This Case To The Trial Court To Permit The Defendant To Withdraw His Guilty Plea Because Plea Counsel's Errors Denied ...


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