NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted November 7, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 08-10-0720.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (William Welaj, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr., Mercer County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Dorothy Hersh, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Fasciale and Haas.
Defendant appeals from a June 12, 2012 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). Defendant contends that he received ineffective assistance of plea counsel. We affirm.
Defendant pled guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1). Defendant appeared at the plea hearing and started to give a factual basis for shooting the victim, but the assistant prosecutor interrupted the proceeding indicating that she was unwilling to proceed unless defendant testified truthfully. The court permitted plea counsel time to communicate with defendant and then defendant resumed his testimony.
Q: And on that evening[, ] can you tell the [c]ourt and the assistant prosecutor what happened?
A: I let [the victim] watch my house till I [came] back from New York. I went and picked [up] my cousin . . . who just came home from [being] incarcerat[ed]. And on the way back from New York[, ] we stopped at a bar and we started drinking.
Then I came home and the victim . . . was on my porch with people [that] I didn't like at the time. And me and [the victim] had an argument . . . . [T]he people left . . . and [the victim and I] went in[to] the house.
. . . .
Q: And what ...