On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 03-03-0430.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 19, 2012
Before Judges Nugent and Haas.
Defendant Tariq Maqbool appeals from a November 4, 2010 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
Tried before a jury, defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1); two counts of first-degree felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(3); two counts of first-degree kidnapping, N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1b; first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b; possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a; and conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2. During the penalty phase of the trial, the jury declined to find any aggravating factors, and the death penalty was not imposed.
Defendant was sentenced to two consecutive life terms on the two first-degree murder convictions; a concurrent thirty-year term on one of the first-degree kidnapping convictions; and a five-year concurrent term on the unlawful possession of a weapon charge. The remaining convictions were merged. With the exception of the sentence on the weapons conviction, the remaining sentences were subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.
Defendant filed a direct appeal and raised the following arguments:
THE STATE'S FAILURE TO APPRISE THE DEFENDANT OF THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST HIM PRIOR TO THE QUESTIONING NECESSITATES SUPPRESSION OF HIS PURPORTED STATEMENTS. U.S. CONST., AMEND. V, XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947), ART. 1, PAR. 10.
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO SUPPRESS THE DEFENDANT'S PURPORTED UNCOUNSELED STATEMENTS, NECESSITATING REVERSAL. U.S. CONST., AMENDS. V, VI, XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947), ART. 1, PAR. 1.
THE DEFENDANT WAS EFFECTIVELY DENIED HIS RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL BY THE TRIAL COURT'S REPETITION, DURING ITS CHARGE TO THE JURY, OF HIGHLY PREJUDICIAL HEARSAY STATEMENTS MADE DURING TRIAL. U.S. CONST., AMEND. VI, XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947), ART. 1, PAR. 9. (NOT RAISED BELOW).
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN PERMITTING ONLY A PARTIAL READBACK OF THE TESTIMONY OF A CRUCIAL WITNESS. (PARTIALLY RAISED BELOW).
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO DEFENDANT'S PREJUDICE IN REFUSING TO DISALLOW THE TESTIMONY OF A STATE'S MEDICAL EXPERT.
THE DEFENDANT RECEIVED A MANIFESTLY EXCESSIVE SENTENCE, NECESSITATING REDUCTION.
A. THE SENTENCES SHOULD RUN CONCURRENTLY.
B. THE BASE TERMS OF LIFE IMPOSED FOR MURDER ARE EXCESSIVE.
Defendant also raised the following arguments in a supplemental brief filed on his own behalf:
1) his custodial statements should have been suppressed because they followed his arrest which was obtained without a valid warrant;
2) he was denied effective assistance of counsel because counsel failed to move to suppress defendant's statements on the basis of his illegal arrest; 3) the trial judge erred by giving an ...