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State v. Crawford

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 3, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JANICE D. CRAWFORD, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 16, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Indictment No. 09-07-1226.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Frank M. Gennaro, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Bruce J. Kaplan, Middlesex County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Brian D. Gillet, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel; Matthew P. Tallia, on the brief).

Bfore Judges Messano and Ostrer.

PER CURIAM

Following a jury trial, defendant Janice D. Crawford was convicted of third-degree shoplifting, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(b). The judge sentenced defendant to a five-year term of imprisonment and imposed a two and one-half year period of parole ineligibility. Defendant's subsequent motion for reconsideration of her sentence was denied, and she now appeals.

Defendant raises the following points for our consideration:

POINT ONE – THE TRIAL COURT'S JURY INSTRUCTION ON THE CRIME OF SHOPLIFTING WAS PLAIN ERROR
POINT TWO – THE TESTIMONY OF NICOLE ROBINSON EXCEEDED THE SCOPE OF PROPER LAY OPINION AND CONSTITUTED IMPROPER EXPERT TESTIMONY
POINT THREE – THE ADMISSION OF HEARSAY TESTIMONY DENIED DEFENDANT A FAIR TRIAL
POINT FOUR – THE COMMENT ON DEFENDANT'S SILENCE AT THE TIME OF HER ARREST DENIED DEFENDANT A FAIR TRIAL
POINT FIVE – THE ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE OF A "BAD ACT" BY DEFENDANT WAS TRIAL ERROR WHICH UNDULY PREJUDICED DEFENDANT AND DENIED HER A FAIR TRIAL
POINT SIX – THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY DENIED DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL
POINT SEVEN – DEFENDANT RECEIVED AN EXCESSIVE SENTENCE

We have considered these arguments in light of the record and applicable legal standards. We affirm.

I.

On April 22, 2009, Nicole Robinson was employed as a "[l]oss prevention detective" at Macy's in the Woodbridge Mall. She was watching the store's closed circuit television (CCTV) monitor, in particular the area of the store where the women's handbags were located. Without objection, Robinson testified that she was watching that area because the store had "a couple of hits" between 8:30 p.m. and ...


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