STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. ANWAR BELTON
In this PCR appeal, defendant collaterally challenged his conviction, after a guilty plea, to aggravated manslaughter. The panel concludes that defendant, in the course of his allocution, suggested a defense of others that was inconsistent with guilt; his waiver of that defense was not knowingly made; therefore, he did not present a sufficient factual basis of guilt. In reaching this conclusion, the panel applies the principles set forth in State v. Urbina, 221 N.J. 509 (2015), although that case involved a claim of self-defense, rather than the defense of others, suggested in the course of a guilty plea. In view of defendant's contemporaneous claim of innocence, the panel held that the failure to elicit a sufficient factual basis was of constitutional dimension and warrants PCR.