On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Warren County, Indictment No. 09-01-0013.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 11, 2012
Before Judges Reisner and Harris.
Defendant Charles E. Holmes, Jr., appeals from his conviction for third-degree eluding, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b; fourth- degree hindering his own prosecution, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b; third-degree drug possession, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and the disorderly persons offenses of obstructing the administration of law, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, and marijuana possession, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4). He was sentenced on May 14, 2010, to an aggregate term of five years in prison with an eighteen-month parole bar, plus applicable fines and fees.*fn1
On this appeal, defendant presents the following points of argument for our consideration:
POINT I: THE PROSECUTOR'S MISCONDUCT IN ELICITING TESTIMONY ABOUT DEFENDANT'S POST-ARREST SILENCE AND COMMENTING ON THAT SILENCE IN SUMMATION, DENIED THE DEFENDANT DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND A FAIR TRIAL. U.S. CONST. AMENDS V, VI AND XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947), ART. I, PARS. 1, 9 AND 10. (Not Raised Below.)
POINT II: THE TRIAL COURT'S FAILURE TO EXCUSE THE ENTIRE JURY POOL FOLLOWING THE JURY'S EXPOSURE TO POTENTIAL INTERACTION WITH WITNESSES AND NON-JURORS IN THE JURY ROOM DEPRIVED DEFENDANT OF THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND FAIR TRIAL BY AN IMPARTIAL JURY. U.S. CONST. AMENDS V, VI AND XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947), ART. I, PARS. 1, 9 AND 10.
POINT III: THE COURT DISMISSED DEFENDANT'S CLEARLY STATED REQUEST TO REPRESENT HIMSELF.
Having reviewed the record, we find no merit in any of these contentions, and we affirm the conviction.
The trial evidence can be summarized briefly as follows. Phillipsburg Police Officer Brad Kisselbach signaled to defendant, who was driving, to pull over after noticing that defendant was not wearing a seatbelt. However, defendant continued driving, even after the officer activated his car siren. Finally, defendant stopped his car, jumped out, and fled. Following an extended foot chase, Kisselbach caught up with defendant, who put up a struggle and had to be subdued with pepper spray. As Kisselbach and another officer were moving defendant toward a patrol car, defendant's pants fell down and he stepped out of them. Kisselbach retrieved defendant's pants from the ground and found cocaine and marijuana in the pockets.
At police headquarters, defendant refused to give his name or provide any other routine biographical information. Nor would he identify himself to personnel at the hospital where he was taken after he complained of back pain. When the police returned defendant to the police station and administered Miranda*fn2 warnings, he finally agreed to identify himself but gave a false name, Isaac L. Csezmadia, a false birth date, and a false social security number. The police eventually learned defendant's true identity by running his fingerprints through their computer system. On the ...