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State v. Mercado

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 10, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
MANUEL A. MERCADO, a/k/a MERCADO ANGEL M., MERCADO MEREDO, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 1, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 09-06-0510.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Lee March Grayson, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Grace H. Park, Acting Union County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Meredith L. Balo, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief; Kimberly L. Donnelly, on the brief).

Before Judges Alvarez and Carroll.

PER CURIAM.

Tried by a jury, defendant Manuel Mercado appeals from his conviction of third-degree receiving stolen property, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 (count one); second-degree eluding, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b (count four); third-degree attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Police Officer Walter Stinner, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(2) (count eight); third-degree attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Police Officer Daniel Roman, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(2) (count nine); third-degree attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Police Officer Michael Iannelli, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(2) (count ten); fourth-degree obstruction, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 (count eleven); fourth-degree resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a (count fourteen); and third-degree resisting arrest by use of force or attempted use of force, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a (count fifteen). Defendant was acquitted of the remaining counts in the indictment. Defendant also appeals his sentence of ten years imprisonment with a five-year period of parole ineligibility on count four, and five years consecutive on count one. Sentences imposed on the remaining counts were all run concurrent, so that defendant received an aggregate sentence of fifteen-years with a five-year period of parole ineligibility. The court also imposed appropriate fines, penalties, and costs, and awarded jail credits.

On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments:

POINT I
THE INDICTMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISMISSED BECAUSE THE STATE FAILED TO COMPLY WITH ITS CONTINUING DUTY TO PROVIDE DISCOVERY, DEPRIVING DEFENDANT OF HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL (Partially raised below).
POINT II
REVERSAL IS REQUIRED BECAUSE THE PROSECUTOR IMPROPERLY BOLSTERED POLICE WITNESS TESTIMONY DURING HER SUMMATION. (Not raised below).
POINT III
THE TRIAL JUDGE'S COMMENTS, INCLUDING THAT "MAYBE THAT WAS A MISTAKE" IN RESPONSE TO A JURY QUESTION ABOUT THE ALLEGED PURSUIT ISSUE JUST PRIOR TO VERDICT, USURPED THE JURY'S FACT FINDING ROLE AND DENIED THE DEFENDANT DUE PROCESS AND A FAIR TRIAL. (Not raised below).
POINT IV
THE SENTENCE IMPOSED WAS IMPROPER BECAUSE THE TRIAL COURT DID NOT FOLLOW THE YARBOUGH GUIDELINES AND PROCEEDED TO SENTENCE THE DEFENDANT TO THE MAXIMUM TERM OF CONFINEMENT WITH THE MAXIMUM PERIOD OF PAROLE DISQUALIFICATION ALONG WITH THE IMPOSITION OF A CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE.
POINT V
THE SENTENCE IMPOSED WAS EXCESSIVE.
POINT VI
REVERSAL IS REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE CUMULATIVE EFFECTS OF THE ERRORS IN THIS CASE.

We conclude from our examination of the record and the applicable law that defendant's arguments lack ...


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