NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 15, 2012.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Ocean County, Indictment No. 04-09-1530.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Michael C. Kazer, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Marlene Lynch Ford, Ocean County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Samuel Marzarella, Supervising Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel; William Kyle Meighan, Assistant Prosecutor, on the brief).
Before Judges Graves and Guadagno.
Defendant Jerome Hyman appeals from a July 29, 2009 Law Division order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
Defendant was charged in a three-count indictment with first-degree murder for knowingly or purposely causing the death of Shawn Maples (count one); second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose (count two); and second-degree possession of a weapon by a convicted person (count three). In a separate indictment, he was charged with second-degree witness tampering.
Pursuant to a negotiated agreement, defendant pled guilty to count one, which was amended to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a)(1). In exchange for the plea, the State agreed to dismiss the remaining charges and to recommend a twenty-five year sentence subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.
During the plea hearing, defendant confirmed he understood the plea agreement, he entered into the agreement voluntarily, and he was satisfied with the legal services his attorney provided. Defendant admitted that on October 31, 2007, he possessed a loaded pistol, and that he fired two shots at Maples. Defendant stated he did not intend to shoot Maples, but the second shot caused the victim's death. Defendant further admitted that the victim "did not exhibit any weapon."
In addition, when questioned by the court, defendant testified as follows:
COURT: Mr. Hyman, do you have any ...