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State of New Jersey v. Christopher Irizarry

January 7, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CHRISTOPHER IRIZARRY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment Nos. 96-02-0633 and 01-08-2458.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 19, 2012

Before Judges Axelrad and Haas.

Defendant Christopher Irizarry appeals from an August 25, 2010 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

I.

On April 29, 2006, defendant pled guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3). On July 12, 1996, the judge sentenced defendant to a four-year term of probation.

On September 29, 1999, defendant pled guilty to third-degree attempted burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and 2C:18-2. On January 14, 2000, defendant was sentenced to three years in prison.

On March 11, 2002, defendant pled guilty to two counts of first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1. On May 10, 2002, the judge sentenced defendant as a second-degree offender to two, concurrent five-year prison terms, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant did not file a direct appeal from any of these convictions and sentences.

On February 4, 2009, defendant filed papers with the court which were treated as a petition for PCR. His assigned counsel thereafter filed a supplemental brief. On August 20, 2010, Judge Anthony M. Pugliese held oral argument and determined an evidentiary hearing was not required. In a comprehensive oral opinion rendered on that date, the judge denied defendant's petition for PCR.

Judge Pugliese found that defendant's petition was time barred under Rule 3:22-12(a)(1) because it was filed more than five years after his convictions. Nevertheless, the judge addressed the merits of defendant's claims and found that he had not established that his trial attorneys had been ineffective. This appeal followed.

II.

On appeal, defendant raises the following contentions:

POINT I [DEFENDANT'S] PRESENCE AT THE HEARING WAS MANDATED BECAUSE MATERIAL ISSUES OF FACT WITHIN HIS KNOWLEDGE WERE EVIDENT IN THE RECORD BUT ...


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