NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted May 29, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, Indictment No. 06-12-1552.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Philip Lago, Designated Counsel, on the briefs).
Fredric M. Knapp, Acting Morris County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (John McNamara, Jr., Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Waugh and St. John.
Defendant Raymonte Love appeals the Law Division's February 8, 2012 order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.
Following a five-day jury trial in September and October 2008, Love was convicted of first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1), and third-degree possession of a CDS, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35—10(a)(1).
Sentencing took place on November 14, 2008. The judge merged count two into count one. He found the following aggravating factors: (3) the risk that defendant will commit another offense, (6) defendant's prior criminal record and seriousness of the offenses, and (9) the need for deterrence. N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(a)(3), (6), (9). He also found mitigating factor (11) excessive hardship to defendant or his dependents. N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(b)(11). The judge determined that the aggravating factors clearly outweighed the mitigating factor and declined to sentence Love in the second-degree range, as defense counsel had requested. The sentence imposed, twelve years of incarceration with a four-year period of parole ineligibility, was at the lower end of the first-degree range of ten to twenty years. Love appealed. We affirmed, and the Supreme Court denied certification. State v. Love, No. A-4209-08 (App. Div. Aug. 12, 2010), certif. denied, 205 N.J. 81 (2011).
Love filed his PCR petition in February 2011. An amended petition was filed through counsel in September. The judge who had presided at Love's trial and sentencing heard oral argument on January 24, 2012. He entered an order denying relief and dismissing the petition on February 8. The judge ...