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State of New Jersey v. Keith Capers

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


July 31, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
KEITH CAPERS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment No. 99-10-3380.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 16, 2012

Before Judges Fuentes and Graves.

Defendant Keith Capers appeals from the order of the trial court denying his motion for a new trial. We affirm.

On December 13, 2000, defendant was tried before a jury and convicted of multiple counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(6); two counts of first degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-b1(1); and related lesser included offenses. The court sentenced defendant, on February 16, 2001, to an aggregate term of thirty-eight years, with thirty-two years, three months, and nineteen days of parole ineligibility.*fn1

We affirmed on direct appeal, State v. Capers, No. A-4576-00 (App. Div. May 1, 2003), and the Supreme Court denied defendant's petition for certification, 177 N.J. 496 (2003). On March 13, 2009, defendant filed a pro se motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence pursuant to Rule 3:20-2. In the supporting affidavit defendant indicated that he had procured copies of the victim's psychiatric records, allegedly showing that she had been involuntarily admitted into Cooper Hospital after being diagnosed with a genetically-based mental illness. Defendant argued that these records were not available to him at trial because they were deemed inadmissible by the trial judge after an in camera review.

Judge Samuel D. Natal denied defendant's motion in an order dated April 20, 2009. Judge Natal outlined his factual findings and conclusions of law in support of his ruling in a memorandum of opinion also dated April 20, 2009.

Defendant now appeals raising the following argument.

POINT ONE

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY DENYING MR. CAPERS' MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL BASED ON NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE.

Defendant's argument lacks sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Natal in his memorandum of opinion. The evidence defendant relies on in support of his motion for a new trial was considered by the court during defendant's trial and found inadmissible as a matter of law. This issue was raised by defendant on direct appeal and rejected by this court. Affirmed.


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