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State of New Jersey v. Kevin M. Norton

March 1, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
KEVIN M. NORTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Indictment No. 09-05-00806.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 6, 2012

Before Judges Parrillo and Hoffman.

Following a jury trial, defendant Kevin M. Norton was convicted of fourth-degree theft, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, and was found not guilty of second-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. He was also found not guilty of the lesser included offense of simple assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a). The trial judge sentenced defendant to an eighteen-month custodial term. Statutory penalties were assessed and defendant was ordered to submit to DNA testing.

On appeal, defendant raises the following issues:

POINT I

THE STATE FAILED TO MEET ITS BURDEN OF PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT MR. NORTON COMMITTED A THEFT AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE GUILTY VERDICT ON THAT CHARGE WAS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE AND MUST BE REVERSED. (Not Raised Below).

POINT II

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN PERMITTING THE STATE TO INTRODUCE A STATEMENT MADE BY MR. NORTON WHERE THE STATEMENT WAS NOT VOLUNTARY, RELIABLE OR RELEVANT AND ONLY SERVED TO CONFUSE THE JURY.

POINT III

THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF THE ERRORS AT DEFENDANT'S TRIAL DEPRIVED HIM OF THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND A FAIR TRIAL.

We reject these arguments and affirm.

According to the State's proofs, on December 9, 2008, at approximately 4:30 p.m., defendant entered the Home Depot store in Colonia. Two store asset protection employees observed defendant walk quickly to the tool area of the store and pick up several high-value saw blades, without closely examining the items or their prices. Because customers ...


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