On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment No. 321-78.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Fisher and Baxter.
Defendant appeals the denial of his motion, based on Rule 3:21-1, to withdraw his 1978 non vult plea to murder. We affirm.
In 1978, defendant, then a juvenile, and two others, approached a vehicle with the intent to rob the driver. As the victim drove away from the scene, defendant -- using a stolen firearm -- shot into the vehicle and killed the victim. After the case was waived up from the juvenile court, defendant entered a not guilty plea. In 1979, defendant retracted his not guilty plea and pled non vult as to murder and guilty as to the remaining charged offenses. Defendant was sentenced to prison for life.
When this matter was last before us, we observed that "[i]n the years following his convictions and sentencing, defendant filed a direct appeal of his convictions and sentence, two writs of habeas corpus in United States District Court, and three petitions" for post-conviction relief (PCR). State v. Robinson, No. A-5906-08 (App. Div. May 20, 2010) (slip op. at 3), certif. denied, 204 N.J. 40 (2010). On that occasion, we affirmed the denial of defendant's fourth PCR petition. Id. at 11.
Prior to our decision affirming the denial of defendant's fourth PCR petition, defendant moved in January 2010 and again in February 2010 for the withdrawal of his non vult plea based on Rule 3:21-1. Defendant now appeals the denial of those motions, arguing:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW THE NON VULT PLEA UNDER R. 3:21-1 BECAUSE THE COURT'S FINDINGS AND LEGAL CONCLUSIONS ARE CLEARLY INCONSISTENT WITH ESTABLISHED LAW AS DETERMINED BY THE U.S. AND N.J. SUPREME COURTS.
We reject defendant's argument substantially for the reasons set forth by Judge Thomas A. Brown, Jr., in his cogent written decision. Affirmed.
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