NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted May 7, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County, Indictment No. 05-08-0795.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Jeffrey R. Jablonski, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Jennifer Webb-McRae, Cumberland County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (David M. Galemba, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Reisner and Yannotti.
Defendant Parker Custis appeals from an order entered by the Law Division on May 14, 2010, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
A Cumberland County grand jury charged defendant with second-degree attempted robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and 2C:15-1(a)(1) and (2) (count one); third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d) (count two); fourth-degree possession of certain weapons for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d) (count three); and third-degree hindering his own apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3(b) (count four).
Count four was dismissed prior to trial, and defendant was tried before a jury on the remaining counts. At the trial, the State presented evidence which established that on the evening of August 3, 2004, shortly before midnight, a black male entered a convenience store, wearing a mask or scarf and white gloves. He appeared to be holding a knife. He told the cashier to open the register. According to Bessie Bennett, the store's cashier, the man told her to give him the money. He said he had a knife.
Bennett panicked and was unable to open the register. The man ran out the door. Bennett phoned the police and reported that the store had been robbed. She said she could not see the perpetrator's face, but provided the police with a description of his clothing, the car in which he fled, and the direction he traveled. At trial, Bennett identified the clothing worn by the robber, including the mask or scarf with which he was covering his face. Bennett also identified the object wrapped in a paper bag, which she believed was the knife he used. A surveillance camera at the store recorded the attempted robbery. The State played a videotape for the jury.
Trooper Jeffrey G. Reitz of the New Jersey State Police testified that he received a broadcast concerning the incident over his car radio. Reitz drove in the direction of the store and observed a green automobile traveling at a high rate of speed. He confirmed that the car matched the description given by the cashier, and he followed the car. However, before Reitz could effectuate a motor vehicle stop, the car pulled over and stopped. Reitz and his partner exited their police vehicle, and told the driver to exit the car. The driver was later identified as defendant.
Defendant was placed in handcuffs. Reitz shone a flashlight into the car and observed items of clothing that matched the description of the clothes the perpetrator had been wearing, specifically a yellow shirt, gray knit hat, blue T-shirt, and a pair of brown pants. Reitz also observed the suspected knife that the cashier believed the perpetrator carried.
The vehicle was secured in a towing lot. A State Police detective found a pair of boots, a blue shirt and a pair of vinyl or latex gloves in the car. The items recovered from the car were sent to the State Police Laboratory for forensic analysis. The parties stipulated that "the only item which analysis ...