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State v. Ali

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 6, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
YAKIM ABDUL ALI, Defendant-Appellant.


Submitted March 19, 2013.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 06-06-0499.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (William Welaj, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Theodore J. Romankow, Union County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Meghan V. Tomlinson, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Waugh, St. John, and Leone.


Defendant Yakim Abdul-Ali[1] appeals the Law Division's order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

I. We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.

In an indictment handed down in June 2006, Abdul-Ali was charged with second-degree eluding an officer, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b) (count one); two counts of third-degree receiving stolen property, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 (counts two and three);[2] third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count four); fourth-degree resisting arrest, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(a) (count five); and fourth-degree prohibited device (hollow nose bullets), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(f) (count six).

We summarized the relevant facts involving that indictment in our opinion disposing of Abdul-Ali's direct appeal as follows:

On the morning of January 23, 2006, the owner of a black 1997 Honda Accord discovered that her car had been stolen from the driveway of her home in Glen Ridge. She immediately notified police.
Slightly less than a month later, on the night of February 21, 2006, officers Christopher McMahon and Brian McDonough of the Elizabeth Police Department were on routine patrol in uniform and in a marked patrol vehicle. While stopped in traffic on Catherine Street at its intersection with East Grand Street, they observed an oncoming vehicle make a left turn from Catherine Street onto East Grand Street without signaling. Pulling behind the vehicle, they activated their lights and sirens.
According to McMahon's testimony at the suppression hearing, the vehicle came to a stop. The officers checked the Honda's license plate and discovered that it did not match the vehicle to which it was affixed. During this time, defendant, the driver of the vehicle, was sitting in the car with his hands raised over his head.
As Officer McMahon exited the patrol vehicle after checking the license plate, defendant suddenly sped off, heading east on East Grand Street. McMahon jumped into the patrol vehicle, and the officers began to pursue the fleeing Honda. Once the chase resumed, the officers immediately reactivated the siren; the overhead lights had never been turned off.
During the chase, defendant ignored two red lights and one stop sign, traveling at a speed of seventy miles per hour in a twenty-five mile per hour zone and constantly passing other vehicles on the road. A second patrol vehicle joined the chase. The Honda finally came to a stop on a loading ramp on Trumbull Street. The officers pulled to the left of the Honda and observed defendant exit the vehicle and throw a dark-colored object to the ground. Defendant then ran along the fence of the loading ramp, laid on the railing and rolled over it, falling approximately twenty-five feet to the ground below. The officers ran down the loading ramp to where defendant was bloodied and lying face down. They arrested him, and secured him in handcuffs. Officer McMahon searched the area where defendant had tossed the dark-colored object, and found a handgun and its magazine, which contained seven live rounds.
A check of the vehicle identification number of the black Honda driven by defendant revealed it was the vehicle that had been reported stolen from the driveway in Glen Ridge on January 23, 2006. The license plates attached to the vehicle on the night of defendant's arrest had been reported stolen earlier that same day.

[State v. Abdul Ali, No. A-4500-06 (App. Div. Nov. 2, 2009) (slip op. at 3-5).]

Following trial in January 2007, Abdul-Ali was found guilty of eluding, one count of receiving stolen property, and resisting arrest. He was acquitted on the weapons offenses. The second count of receiving stolen property ...

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