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State of New Jersey v. Willie J. Gordon

October 19, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WILLIE J. GORDON, A/K/A WILLIE JUNIOR GORDON, BOO GORDON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Docket Indictment No. 05-09-1781.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 14, 2011

Before Judges Cuff and Waugh.

Defendant Willie J. Gordon appeals from the order of the Law Division dismissing his application for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

I.

We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.

In January 2006, a jury found Gordon guilty of third-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (Count One), and third-degree theft by unlawful taking, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a (Count Two). He was sentenced to a discretionary extended term of ten-years imprisonment with a five-year parole ineligibility term for burglary and a concurrent five-year term for theft.

Gordon appealed both the conviction and the sentence. We affirmed in a written opinion. State v. Gordon, No. A-3100-06 (App. Div. 2008). The Supreme Court denied certification. State v. Gordon, 199 N.J. 131 (2009).

In affirming, we declined to consider one of Gordon's points on appeal. He argued that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his defense attorney did not challenge the legality of his arrest. We declined to consider that issue on direct appeal, citing State v. Preciose, 129 N.J. 451, 459-60 (1992) for the proposition that such issues are best-suited for PCR proceedings.

Gordon filed a pro se PCR petition in March 2009. Counsel was subsequently appointed to represent him. Gordon's PCR application was premised on his argument that his trial counsel was ineffective. According to Gordon, if his attorney had moved to suppress evidence related to his allegedly unlawful arrest, the motion would have been successful and the result would have been the suppression of testimony concerning an identification by one of the State's witnesses and statements made by Gordon following his arrest.

The PCR judge heard oral argument on the petition on December 18, 2009. Following argument, the judge delivered an oral decision in which she concluded that the arrest was not illegal. She dismissed the petition. This appeal followed.

II.

Gordon raises the following issues ...


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