NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 15, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 04-05-0843.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Steven M. Gilson, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Gaetano T. Gregory, Acting Hudson County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Megan B. Kilzy, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, on the brief).
Before Judges Parrillo, Harris, and Guadagno.
After remand, defendant Ricardo Ozorio appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
Although initially subject to a multi-party, fifteen-count indictment, Ozorio was convicted by a jury of only first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a). He was sentenced to a twenty-year term of imprisonment, subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.
On Ozorio's direct appeal, in which we affirmed the conviction and sentence, we summarized the evidence that was presented to the jury as follows:
[Ozorio's] conviction arose out of a violent and fatal encounter on a summer night in August 2003. The encounter pitted two rival groups of young men on the streets of West New York, near a gas station. During the course of that encounter, a member of one of the sparring factions, Garmair Brown, was stabbed to death. Two of Brown's companions, Christopher Navarro and Brian Powell, also were physically attacked, but survived.
As the State contended at trial, Brown's killing and the simultaneous attack on his companions were committed in apparent retaliation for the stabbing of Luis Carlos Arias, an associate of [Ozorio], four months earlier. On the day of the present offenses, Arias, who had recovered from his stab wounds, was at a cultural parade in West New York with several colleagues when a group of men began giving him menacing "looks." The men who were staring "hard" at Arias were recognized to be part of the group that had been involved in his prior stabbing. ...