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State of New Jersey v. Leroy Mclauren

May 3, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LEROY MCLAUREN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 87-06-2615.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 18, 2012

Before Judges Lihotz and Waugh.

Defendant Leroy McLauren appeals from the Law Division's March 23, 2010 order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

I.

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

After a waiver to adult court, McLauren was indicted for first-degree murder, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2) (count one); first-degree felony murder, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3) (count two); first-degree robbery, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 (count three); third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count four); and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a) (count five). The charges arose out of the shooting death of a fifteen-year old boy on January 7, 1987.

Following an unsuccessful motion to suppress a handgun found in McLauren's jacket on the day following the shooting, McLauren was tried before a jury in December 1987. The jury found him guilty of aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, as a lesser included offense of purposeful or knowing murder, as well as the remaining charges. In March 1988, McLauren was sentenced to a prison term of thirty years without parole. His scheduled release date is in January 2017.

McLauren filed a direct appeal, arguing that the trial judge had erred in denying his motion to suppress and in refusing to charge defense of others. N.J.S.A. 2C:3-5. We affirmed on February 13, 1990. The Supreme Court denied McLauren's petition for certification. State v. McLauren, 122 N.J. 160 (1990).

In December 2009, McLauren filed a petition for PCR. The petition was based on allegations of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel with respect to (1) failure to advise him that he could testify at the waiver hearing, (2) failure to request a charge on the elements of criminal attempt, (3) failure to raise on appeal the inadmissibility of his statement to the police, and (4) cumulative trial errors. The petition was heard on March 23, 2010. Following oral argument, the PCR judge dismissed the petition as time barred. He found no basis to waive the time limits of Rule 3:22-12 based on excusable neglect. This appeal followed.

II.

McLauren raises the following issues on appeal through designated counsel:

The Court should reverse the denial of defendant's petition for post-conviction relief and remand this matter for an ...


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