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State of New Jersey v. James Alexander

January 30, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES ALEXANDER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment No. 08-11-03577.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 20, 2011 Before Judges Fisher, Baxter and Nugent.

In appealing his conviction and the sentence imposed, defendant argues, among other things, that the trial judge erred in instructing the jury about accomplice liability, after deliberations had begun, in response to a question posed by the jury. After close examination of the issue, we conclude that the judge appropriately provided the additional instructions. We also reject defendant's other arguments and affirm.

Defendant and Anthony Warren were indicted and charged with one count of third-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2a(1), and one count of third-degree theft, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3. At the conclusion of a three-day trial, defendant was convicted of third-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft. The judge merged the convictions for sentencing purposes, granted the State's motion to impose an extended term, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3a, and sentenced defendant to a six-year prison term with a three-year period of parole ineligibility. At the same time, defendant entered a guilty plea to third-degree burglary on another indictment,*fn1 and the judge imposed a five-year prison term on that conviction to run concurrently with the other sentence.

Defendant appealed, presenting the following arguments for our consideration:

I. PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT IN OPENING ARGUMENT DEPRIVED MR. ALEXANDER OF A FAIR TRIAL (NOT RAISED BELOW).

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING EVIDENCE OF MR. ALEXANDER'S OTHER BAD ACTS.

III. PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT DURING SUMMATION DEPRIVED MR. ALEXANDER OF A FAIR TRIAL.

IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN PROVIDING A SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION TO THE JURY CONCERNING ACCOMPLICE LIABILITY.

V. THE GUILTY VERDICT ON THE CHARGE OF BURGLARY WAS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE (NOT RAISED BELOW).

VI. CUMULATIVE ERRORS DENIED THE DEFENDANT THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL (NOT RAISED BELOW).

VII. MR. ALEXANDER'S SENTENCE ON [THE FIRST] INDICTMENT [] MUST BE VACATED AND THE MATTER REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.

We find insufficient merit in these arguments to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We add only the following brief comments regarding Points II and IV. To put those ...


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