NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 20, 2013.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 98-06-1542.
Wali Palmer, appellant pro se.
James P. McClain, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Jack J. Lipari, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Chief Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Graves and Simonelli.
Defendant Wali Palmer appeals from an October 31, 2011 order denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. We affirm.
Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a) (count one), aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1) (count two), possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a) (count seven), and unlawful possession of a weapon (the handgun), N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count eight). He was sentenced on July 9, 1999, to an aggregate term of thirty years imprisonment with twenty-five-and-one-half years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA). N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.
On direct appeal, we affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence. State v. Palmer, A-0129-99 (App. Div. Mar. 19, 2001), certif. denied, 169 N.J. 606 (2001). In that opinion, we summarized the facts as follows:
The convictions arise from a shooting in a bar in Atlantic City in which two men were shot. Defendant's friend, Junior (Jerry Cooper), died of a gunshot wound . . . . The second victim, Shawn Brantley, suffered a gunshot wound to the left thigh. Although there was considerable disagreement among the witnesses concerning the genesis of the dispute which preceded the gunfire, it was undisputed that defendant was the only person who drew and fired a gun.
Soon after the shooting, Atlantic City Police Officer Eugene Maier arrived at the bar. When Maier entered the bar, Brantley described the person who shot him as a black man wearing a black leather coat with white sleeves, blue jeans and dreadlocks. . . .Soon thereafter Officer Thomas Hahn noticed a man fitting this description, the defendant, riding a bicycle. At that time defendant was two blocks from the bar. . . . Hahn and another officer, Michael O'Hala, arrested defendant.
[Id. at 2-3.]
According to O'Hala, defendant "mumbled something, " and when O'Hala asked him what he had said, defendant responded, "I just seen the gun on the floor. I grabbed it and shot. I ran the f--- up out of there. Everyone telling ...