On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 05-08-1809.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Payne and Hayden.
Defendant, Jeron McNair, appeals from a June 24, 2010 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). On appeal, he presents the following arguments:
THE COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF, SPECIFICALLY TO WITHDRAWING HIS PLEA.
THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED HIS BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE COUNSEL.
The record discloses that defendant, a maintenance worker at a senior citizens' apartment building, gained entry to an apartment through a ruse, attempted to strangle the apartment's occupant, and when she passed out, he raped her. He was charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a (count one); third-degree criminal restraint, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2 (count two); second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (count three); and third-degree aggravated assault - significant bodily injury, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(7)(count four).
On November 2, 2006, defendant pled guilty to count one, which was amended to charge second-degree sexual assault - force or coercion with no serious bodily injury, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2c(1), to be sentenced as a third-degree crime, and to count four, charging third-degree aggravated assault - significant bodily injury, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(7). Defendant was sentenced pursuant to the plea agreement as a Megan's Law offender, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -23, to a four-year term of imprisonment with an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. At sentencing, it was stated on the record that the lenient plea was the result of a recognition of the fragile emotional and physical health of the victim, not a lack of culpability on the part of defendant.
Upon completing his sentence, defendant was found to be a sexually violent predator, and he was civilly committed. See N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38; N.J.S.A. 2C:47-5. Upon commitment, defendant sought PCR, claiming that his trial counsel had been ineffective because she had failed to inform him of the possibility of civil commitment at the completion of his sentence, and as a result, he should be permitted to withdraw his plea.
The matter was heard by Judge Charles Middlesworth, Jr., who denied relief in a written opinion dated June 24, 2010. We affirm, substantially on the basis of the judge's thorough ...