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State of New Jersey v. R.E

February 3, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
R.E., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Accusation No. 06-01-0109.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted November 2, 2011

Before Judges Fuentes and Graves.

Defendant R.E. appeals from an order dated January 29, 2010, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

On January 11, 2006, defendant waived indictment and pled guilty to a one-count accusation charging fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(b). In exchange for defendant's guilty plea, the State agreed to recommend a five-year term of non-custodial probation with credit for time served. The plea agreement also specified that defendant would be released on his own recognizance pending sentence.

On February 17, 2006, the court sentenced defendant in accordance with the plea agreement, and defendant received thirty-nine days of jail credit. During his sentencing hearing, defendant advised the court that he was not employed because he was "disabled" and "ill." In addition, defendant stated: "I'm terminal. I got approximately two years left."*fn1

Defendant filed a notice of appeal that was argued on January 10, 2007, pursuant to Rule 2:9-11. We affirmed defendant's sentence and the Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification on May 29, 2007.

Defendant then filed a PCR petition dated July 20, 2007.

In paragraph eight of the petition, defendant stated: "[The] plea agreement did not include [an agreement] to raise tier status from 2 to 3 tier, [and] cause me to wear [a] bracel[e]t around [my] leg and carr[y a] 30lb box for the rest of my life. This was done 1 year after [the] plea agreement." Additionally, when the matter was heard on February 22, 2008, defendant testified: (1) he would not have accepted the plea if he had known his tier classification would change from tier two to tier three; (2) his attorney told him that the plea would not affect his status under Megan's Law; and (3) he was not guilty of the offense.

In an oral decision on February 22, 2008, the PCR court found that defendant had "minimal credibility" because his testimony at the PCR hearing was contradicted by his testimony when he entered his plea. The court also found that defendant "did not want to go to trial," and he knew the entry of the plea would "have an impact" on his Megan's Law status. Therefore, the court denied defendant's application for relief.

On appeal to this court, defendant raised the following arguments:*fn2

POINT I

THE PCR COURT SHOULD HAVE GRANTED THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF ON THE BASIS OF ...


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