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State of New Jersey v. Terence Zimmerman

July 24, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TERENCE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 09-12-3324.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted July 3, 2012

Before Judges Payne and Messano.

Defendant, Terence Zimmerman, appeals from his conviction, pursuant to a plea agreement, for first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a, and from his sentence of eighteen years in custody, subject to the eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility required by the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, on the manslaughter conviction, into which the weapons offense was merged. On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments for our consideration:

POINT I

THE COURT ERRED IN ITS FINDING OF PROBABLE CAUSE, AND AS A RESULT, REVERSAL IS REQUIRED.

POINT II

BECAUSE THE RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE PROSECUTOR PROVIDED A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR WAIVER AS REQUIRED, THE MATTER MUST BE REMANDED TO THE FAMILY COURT FOR RECONSIDERATION. (Not Raised Below.) POINT III

THE SENTENCE IMPOSED WAS MANIFESTLY EXCESSIVE.

We affirm defendant's conviction and sentence.

I.

In a complaint filed in this matter, defendant was charged with acts of delinquency that, if he had been an adult, would have constituted murder of Hassan Miller, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a, unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a. At the probable cause hearing that took place on June 4, 2009, testimony was offered for the State by Detective Rudy Correa, a member of the East Orange Police Department's violent crimes task force.

Det. Correa testified that, on February 11, 2009, during the 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. shift, he was on a plain-clothes robbery suppression patrol with Det. Joseph Guilano in an unmarked police vehicle. At 2:00 a.m., they heard a call of a motor vehicle accident approximately two blocks away, to which they responded. Once at the scene, they observed a grey taxi whose driver was slumped backward. Defendant, a juvenile whom Det. Correa had known for some time, was sitting, bleeding from his forehead, just outside the front passenger seat door, which was open, whereas all of the other doors on the vehicle were closed, with the windows up. When asked what happened, defendant stated that the car had crashed. He stated additionally that there had been two other occupants in the rear seat of the ...


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