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State v. Wallace

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 1, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
SHANNON WALLACE, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 23, 2013.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 01-08-1714.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Monique Moyse, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Jeffrey P. Mongiello, Deputy Attorney General, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Harris and Guadagno.

PER CURIAM

This is defendant Shannon Wallace's third appeal to this court. In State v. Wallace, No. A-6001-02 (App. Div. Oct. 22, 2004) (Wallace I), we provisionally affirmed Wallace's conviction and sentence, [1] subject to a remand for the trial judge to explain his ruling permitting the admissibility of contraband and documents that were not in plain view. In State v. Wallace, No. A-4239-06 (App. Div. Aug. 25, 2009) (Wallace II), we agreed with Wallace that our earlier mandate had not been followed because the remand hearing was conducted by the judge who had denied Wallace's pre-trial suppression motion, rather than the trial judge. We again remanded, for a hearing to be conducted by the trial judge, to determine whether the non-plain view items seized "from under the mattress and the bed were admissible at trial." Wallace II, supra, slip op. at 6. After a remand hearing was conducted by the trial judge, a December 10, 2009 order was entered denying Wallace's motion to suppress. Wallace appeals from that determination, claiming that the trial court committed serious errors of fact and law. We affirm.

I.

A.

Although familiarity with our two earlier opinions is assumed, we recite the salient facts:

These charges arose out of defendant's arrest on January 22, 2001 when Parole Officer Thomas High arrived at a residence he knew defendant occupied. Along with eight other parole officers, High intended to serve an arrest warrant for violation of parole. The residence was within one thousand feet of a school.
High had supervised defendant since 2000 and had made numerous "home visits" to this address. High knew from past visits that defendant occupied a second floor bedroom from which High saw him "peek out" on January 22, 2001. When the officers entered the house, they went to the second floor bedroom, where one of the officers saw a clip of eight vials of suspected cocaine on a dresser. A drawer in the dresser was partially opened and contained a black semiautomatic handgun. Other officers found a bundle of drugs and a knife in the bedroom. Under the mattress, along with other mail addressed to defendant, they found a certificate from the Parole Department addressed to defendant indicating that he had completed a ninety-day reporting program. One thousand empty vials were found under the bed.
Defendant was not in the second floor bedroom when the officers entered it. One of the officers went to the attic and found defendant hiding behind a clothes rack. When defendant was seized and arrested, he did not have any shoes on. His girlfriend, who was present at the time, indicated to the officers that defendant's ...

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