NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 9, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment No. 10-09-2503.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Robert L. Sloan, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, of counsel and on the brief).
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Teresa A. Blair, Deputy Attorney General, of counsel and on the brief).
Appellant filed a pro se supplemental brief.
Before Judges Parrillo and Guadagno.
Tried to a jury, defendant Charles W. Gould was convicted of first-degree attempted murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and 2C:11-3 (count one); first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1(a)(1) (count two); second, third, and fourth-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1), (2), (4) and (7) (counts three, four, five, and six); second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count seven); second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a) (count eight); and second-degree certain persons not to have weapons, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(b) (count nine).
Counts three through six and count eight were merged into count one and defendant was sentenced to seventeen years, subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. On count two, defendant received a concurrent, seventeen-year NERA sentence. On count seven, defendant received a concurrent, eight-year term with a three-year parole disqualifier. On count nine, defendant received a consecutive eight-year term with five years of parole ineligibility. Thus, defendant's aggregate sentence was twenty-five years, with nineteen and one-half to be served without parole.
On appeal, appellant provides the following points for our consideration:
THE PROSECUTOR'S MISUSE OF TESTIMONIAL HEARSAY, FROM NON-TESTIFYING ALLEGED WITNESSES WHO IMPLICATED DEFENDANT DURING THE POLICE INVESTIGATION, VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO CONFRONT WITNESSES AND TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND A FAIR TRIAL. U.S. CONST. AMEND. XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947) ART. I, PARS. 1, 9, 10.
DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE IS MANIFESTLY EXCESSIVE.
In a supplemental pro se brief, defendant provides one additional argument:
THE COURT FAILED TO CONDUCT A WADE HEARING AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE VARIOUS DIFFERENT DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PERPETRATOR GIVEN BY SEVERAL DIFFERENT WITNESSES AT TRIAL THUS VIOLATING DEFENDANTS DUE PROCESS RIGHTS.
We have considered these arguments in light of the record and applicable legal standards, and we affirm.
Around 4:00 p.m. on March 30, 2010, Brandon Adams was standing at the corner of Rand and Thorndyke in Camden selling drugs with Kelly Robinson who was acting as a look-out. Alcedes Santori walked past the two men and greeted Adams. Santori continued toward a friend's house nearby. While in the house, Santori noticed Victoria Long outside and went down to smoke a cigarette with her. Long only had one cigarette so she walked toward Adams to see if he had any. Long returned with a cigarette and then walked with Santori back towards Adams.
As Santori and Long approached Adams, they noticed two men. One stayed at the corner while the other, armed with a handgun, approached Adams. The gunman, later identified as defendant, put the gun to Adams's stomach and demanded his money. Adams appeared to recognize the gunman and, at first, thought he was joking. Once he realized the gunman was serious, Adams turned over his money.
Defendant then ordered Adams to take him to where his "stash" of drugs was hidden. Adams directed defendant to an alleyway where he had kept some of his drugs, but explained that there were no drugs there. Defendant became irate and shot Adams five times, causing severe injuries to his arm, stomach and liver. Defendant then left with the other person.
After the shooting, Santori and Long fled back to their friend's house. Adams followed them and asked them to call an ambulance. When the ambulance did not arrive promptly, Long and her brother, Michael Leslie, drove Adams to Cooper University Hospital. Adams underwent several surgeries to repair injuries from gunshot wounds to his abdomen and liver, and two fractured bones in his right arm.
New Jersey State Trooper Arthur Barilotti led the investigation into Adams's shooting. Barilotti conducted a tape-recorded interview of Robinson who provided a description of the ...