NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 25, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Indictment No. 98-08-1175.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Philip Lago, Designated Counsel, on the briefs).
Andrew C. Carey, Acting Middlesex County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Joie Piderit, Special Deputy Attorney General/ Acting Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Maven and Hoffman.
This appeal returns following a remand for a plenary hearing on defendant Richard Bailey's petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Bailey now appeals from the September 1, 2011 order of the Law Division denying his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm.
We set forth the factual background to defendant's conviction in an earlier opinion:
On June 16, 1998, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a grocery store in New Brunswick was robbed. One of the two employees on duty at the time had been distracted by pursuing a shoplifter who fled the store. Defendant's friend, Maria Riley, then entered the store and ordered some cold cuts. When the second employee, Emiliano Rodriguez, began filling the order, two men wearing ski masks entered the store. One of them, whom Rodriguez recognized as a previous store patron, pointed a gun at Rodriguez and threatened to kill him if he moved. The other man went behind the counter and took approximately $1, 200 from the register. The two men and Riley then fled the scene together.
The owner of the store testified that "one of [his] customers brought [him] a picture of [defendant] and told [him] his name." The customer was Bernard Williams, who testified at the hearing on a motion for a new trial. He had called New Brunswick Detective Sam Hillyer and gave him the photograph. Hillyer showed Rodriguez the photograph and he recognized defendant.
At trial, Rodriguez testified and identified defendant as the former patron who had pointed a gun at him. Hillyer also testified, referring to defendant by his street name, "Mookie." He also testified that a confidential informant identified defendant as one of the robbers.
Defendant did not testify, but presented the testimony of three witnesses. Riley testified that she was at the store at the time of the robbery by two armed, masked men, whom she did not know. Defendant, her friend, came in shortly after she did. They were talking casually when the robbery occurred. During the testimony, Riley told the jury that defendant was on parole for a ...