STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. STEPHON G. WRIGHT
Following the denial of defendant Stephon G. Wright's motions to exclude the testimony of the victim identifying Wright as the man who robbed him at gunpoint and to suppress statements Wright made to the police, he entered a conditional guilty plea pursuant to a negotiated agreement to first-degree armed robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; and was sentenced to eight years in state prison subject to the periods of parole ineligibility and supervision required by the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. He appeals pursuant to Rule 3:9-3(f), contending the court erred in denying his motions and, in the alternative, that his sentence is excessive.
We find no error in the court's decision to admit the identification evidence under the test established in State v. Henderson, 208 N.J. 208 (2011), and thus reject defendant's arguments on that point. We also reject Wright's arguments regarding his sentence. We agree, however, that his statements to the police were the product of the equivalent of custodial interrogation without required Miranda warnings and should have been suppressed. Accordingly, we reverse the court's decision to admit the statements and remand for further proceedings.