NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted April 30, 2013.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Indictment No. 06-05-0517.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (William Welaj, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Robert D. Bernardi, Burlington County Prosecutor, (Alexis R. Agre, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Yannotti and Hoffman.
Defendant appeals from the October 11, 2011 Law Division order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
The record reveals that, following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of one count of second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2(a)(1). The charges were based on an incident where defendant forced his way into the apartment of Jenysia Ruiz, his former paramour. We set forth the factual background to defendant's conviction in an earlier opinion:
Defendant and his former paramour of three years mutually agreed upon an informal shared child custody arrangement for their then thirteen-month old daughter. On Christmas Eve 2005, defendant was scheduled to drop the child at the home of the mother early in the morning. At that time, the child's mother was romantically involved with another man.
Shortly after 7:00 a.m., defendant arrived without his daughter——apparently not intending to drop the child off——and approached the door of the mother's residence. Immediately upon opening the door to the apartment, defendant entered, and a fight quickly ensued between defendant and the replacement boyfriend. During the struggle, defendant was injured, suffering a stab wound to his back that had been inflicted by the boyfriend, apparently in self-defense. Defendant immediately fled the scene.
Around 8:00 a.m., the police arrived in response to a 9-1-1 call. Defendant's former paramour and her boyfriend accompanied the police officers to police headquarters where they provided statements of what took place earlier that morning in their apartment. Later in the day, defendant also arrived at police headquarters where, upon observing defendant's back wound, the police escorted defendant to the emergency room at Cooper Hospital in Camden.
Following a procedure in the hospital triage that determined defendant's medical treatment could be deferred, he spoke with Detective Scott Wallace, who reported that defendant admitted forcing his way into the apartment and that once inside, a fight broke out. Detective Wallace testified that defendant had been angry that morning because he had to drop off his daughter at a location where the new boyfriend was present. According to ...