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State v. Ford

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

August 21, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ERIN FORD, Defendant-Appellant

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted August 13, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 98-12-4770.

Erin Ford, appellant pro se.

Carolyn A. Murray, Acting Essex County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Barbara A. Rosenkrans, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Lihotz and Guadagno.

PER CURIAM

Defendant, Erin Ford, appeals from a January 26, 2012 order denying his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. We affirm.

In 1998, Ford and co-defendant Larkeese Collins were charged in a nine-count indictment with robbery, attempted murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy and weapons charges, stemming from the armed robbery of Abdul-Aziz Harrison and the shooting of Clifton Andrews. Harrison's multi-colored, leather Avirex jacket was taken in the robbery and Andrews was shot after he indicated he recognized one of the assailants. Collins was granted use immunity prior to trial and appeared as a witness for the State. The jury convicted defendant on all counts.

Defendant fled the jurisdiction and was not sentenced until March 23, 2001. At sentencing, the court imposed an aggregate custodial term of forty years subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. We affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence. State v. Ford, No. A-5867-00 (App. Div. Jan. 14, 2003).

Defendant filed a petition for PCR. On August 28, 2006, the PCR judge agreed that two counts of the indictment should be vacated, otherwise he denied relief premised on the ineffective assistance of counsel and alleged due process violations.

Defendant appealed, and we affirmed the denial of his PCR petition. State v. Ford, No. A-4176-06 (App. Div. Mar. 11, 2011). Our Supreme Court denied certification on September 9, 2011. State v. Ford, 208 N.J. 336 (2011).

On December 2, 2011, defendant moved for a new trial based on a claim of newly discovered evidence. He presented an affidavit from co-defendant, Larkeese Collins stating:

During pretrial proceedings, on advise of counsel and Eugene J. Pietrolongo, prosecutor I was told I would be given immunity and leniency in exchange ...

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