STATE OF NEW JERSEY V. OMAR TINDELL
Defendant was charged, inter alia, with the murder of a
police officer in the line of duty. He was convicted after a
jury trial of second degree reckless manslaughter as a lesser
included offense of murder, third degree receiving stolen
property, third degree possession of cocaine, third degree
unlawful possession of a handgun, and third degree terroristic
threats. The court sentenced defendant to the maximum sentence
on each offense and ordered that each term be served consecutive
to each other, resulting in an aggregate sentence of thirty
years, with eighteen and one-half years of parole ineligibility.
We affirm defendant's conviction except for third degree
terroristic threats and third degree receiving stolen property.
On the charge of terroristic threats, we hold that because
the evidence demonstrated that the alleged threats were directed
at multiple possible victims, the trial court erred in failing
to instruct the jury that the State needed to identify the
particular victim or victims of the crime. The court's
instructions left the jury unacceptably vulnerable to reaching a
fragmented verdict, without the unanimous agreement of all
On the charge of receiving stolen property, we vacate the
conviction and remand for the entry of a judgment of acquittal
because the State failed to present specific evidence that the
automobile found in defendant's possession was in fact stolen.
Applying the bedrock principles articulated in State v.
Roth, we vacate in its entirety the sentence imposed by the
court and remand for re-sentencing before a different judge
because the sentence was irreparably tainted by the improper
comments made by the judge at the sentencing hearing attacking
the jurors' character and independence and questioning the
credibility of a police officer witness using sarcastic and