On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 05-06-0803.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Waugh and St. John.
Defendant Dashawn George appeals from the November 30, 2009 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. Following our review of the arguments advanced on appeal, in light of the record and applicable law, we affirm the denial of his petition substantially for the reasons set forth by Judge DePascale in his oral opinion of November 12, 2009.
Following a guilty plea for one count of first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, defendant is serving a term of ten years incarceration, with eighty-five percent of that term subject to parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Following the imposition of his sentence, defendant filed a direct appeal, and we affirmed. State v. George, No. A-2707-06 (App. Div. Jan. 9, 2009), certif. denied, 198 N.J. 474 (2009).
Defendant's conviction arose from an armed robbery, which occurred in the early morning hours of September 23, 2004. While on patrol, police Officers Vincent Glenn and John Entman received a call regarding a robbery on Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City, involving three masked and armed African-American males. While driving toward Kennedy Boulevard, the officers observed a blue Ford Explorer at the intersection of State Highway 139 and Collard Street. According to Glenn, the Explorer was traveling at a high rate of speed with its lights off. Glenn activated his emergency overhead lights and stopped the Explorer after pursuing it for a few blocks. As he approached the driver's side, Glenn observed five male occupants, and a black ski-mask on the dashboard. Entman, who approached the passenger side, removed the front seat passenger, performed a pat-down, and discovered a gun in his waistband. Upon removing the other occupants from the vehicle, the driver was found to possess a handgun, and three revolvers were recovered in the back seat. Purses, wallets, and jewelry were also found in the rear of the Explorer.
The police contacted two women whose identification was found in the purses and learned that a second robbery, involving these two women and a man, had occurred that same evening. The women informed police that their purses and other personal property were stolen by three to five masked African-American males carrying guns.
Following his arrest, three juvenile complaints were filed against defendant, who was seventeen years old at the time of the offense, charging him with three counts of armed robbery and weapons offenses. The State applied to the Family Part to have the juvenile complaints against defendant waived to the Law Division. The State's applications were granted by Judge Baber, and defendant was subsequently indicted and charged with armed robbery.
Defendant unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized as a result of the traffic stop leading to his arrest. He subsequently pled guilty to a single count of first-degree armed robbery. In return for his guilty plea, the State agreed to recommend a period of incarceration of twelve years, subject to NERA, and dismissal of the other charges. At the plea hearing, defendant acknowledged his involvement in the armed robbery of Lisa Lugo, the owner of one of the purses found in the Explorer. He testified that, during the theft, he produced a handgun in order to frighten Lugo.
Defendant filed a pro se PCR petition on April 14, 2009, followed by PCR counsel's brief and appendix in support of his petition. On November 12, 2009, a non-evidentiary hearing was held, and the PCR judge denied defendant's petition in an oral opinion. On November 30, 2009, the court entered an order memorializing the denial.
Defendant appeals from the denial of his PCR petition, and raises the following issues ...