NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMITTEE ON OPINIONS
Submitted October 16, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 09-02-0261.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (William Welaj, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Gaetano T. Gregory, Acting Hudson County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Miriam L. Acevedo, Special Deputy Attorney General/ Acting Assistant Prosecutor, on the brief).
Before Judges Fisher and Koblitz.
Defendant Angelo Williams appeals from the December 15, 2011 order denying his application for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
Although indicted for murder, defendant pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, for his participation in a beating and robbery that led to the death of the victim. Defendant admitted when pleading guilty that he intentionally struck the victim multiple times in order to take the victim's wallet. He acknowledged that he caused injuries serious enough to place the victim in the hospital and that those injuries ultimately led to the victim's death. Pursuant to the plea agreement, defendant was sentenced to an eighteen-year term, subject to an eighty-five-percent period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Defendant appealed from the sentence. We affirmed the length of the sentence, but vacated the sentencing court's imposition of $22, 000 in restitution, remanding only for a restitution hearing.
The crime took place in Jersey City on July 16, 2008. Police responded to a report of a robbery and found the victim conscious. The victim stated he was robbed and beaten by two young black males. He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center to treat bruises, swelling and lacerations and died two days later from his injuries. An autopsy report listed the victim's cause of death as "multiple blunt force injuries" with a "contributory cause" of a preexisting seizure disorder. A supplemental report stated that at autopsy the victim had a broken nose, a sutured laceration, and multiple visible "contusions" to the face, head, torso and extremities.
After being identified as one of the participants by several witnesses, defendant acknowledged his involvement to the police.
Defendant raises the following issues on appeal:
POINT I: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST CONVICTION RELIEF WITHOUT AFFORDING HIM AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING TO FULLY ADDRESS HIS CONTENTION THAT HE FAILED TO RECEIVE ADQUATE LEGAL REPRESENTATION AT THE TRIAL LEVEL.
A.THE PREVAILING LEGAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING CLAIMS OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL ARISING OUT OF THE ENTRY OF GUILTY PLEAS, EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS ...