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State v. Hoffman

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 29, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
BRIAN HOFFMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 18, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 05-11-2403.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Michele C. Buckley, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

James P. McClain, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Jack J. Lipari, Special Deputy Attorney General/ Acting Chief Assistant County Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Appellant filed a pro se supplemental brief.

Before Judges Graves and Espinosa.

OPINION

GRAVES, J.A.D.

Defendant Brian Hoffman appeals from an April 11, 2011 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.

Following a jury trial, defendant was found guilty of: first-degree attempted murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2) (count one); second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1) (count two); third-degree threat to kill, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3(b) (count three); fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon (a knife), N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d) (count four); third-degree possession of the same knife for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(d) (count five); and fourth-degree contempt for violating a domestic violence restraining order, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(b) (count six). The victim was defendant's former wife.

At sentencing on May 4, 2007, the victim stated that the "heroic efforts" of a trauma physician at the Atlantic City Medical Center saved her life. The court described the brutal attack upon the victim as follows:

On the day in question, the victim was working outside in her front yard when the defendant abruptly pulled up in his motor vehicle, got out and pursued her with a knife, telling her that he was going to kill her and her children. He stabbed her several times about the neck and back area, kicked her and when a neighbor responded to the victim's calls for help, was seen to be standing over her banging her head on the concrete as she laid prone. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries and injury to the larynx causing her temporarily [to lose] her ability to speak and to the present day causing her difficulty in swallowing.

The court merged count two into count one and sentenced defendant to a twenty-year term of imprisonment for attempted murder with seventeen years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. The court imposed concurrent five-year terms on counts three and five; a concurrent eighteen-month term on count four; and a consecutive eighteen-month term for violating the domestic violence restraining order (count six) with nine months of parole ineligibility. Thus, the court sentenced ...


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