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State v. Yarbough

Supreme Court of New Jersey

May 7, 1985, Argued ; October 7, 1985, Decided

No. A-132


 [*630]  [**1240]   This is the first time that we have addressed the standards under the Code of Criminal Justice, N.J.S.A. 2C:1-1 to 98-4 (Code), that shall govern courts in determining whether sentences for multiple offenses are to be served consecutively or concurrently. We determine that in fashioning consecutive or concurrent sentences under the Code, sentencing courts should be guided by the Code's paramount sentencing goals that punishment fit the crime, not the criminal, and that there be a predictable degree of uniformity in sentencing. To achieve these goals, we outline [***2]  specific standards that shall generally guide courts in comparable cases in the exercise of such sentencing discretion. In our review of the sentencing procedures below, we determine that the sentences imposed by the courts below were not consistent with the standards we announce today. We remand the case for sentence in accordance with these standards.

The facts of this case are sordid. They have been set forth in detail in the opinion below. 195 N.J. Super. 135 (App.Div.1984). We repeat only those facts essential to disposition. The two defendants, Judy Wilson Smith and John Yarbough, were convicted by an Essex County jury on three counts of aggravated sexual assault upon Smith's eleven-year-old daughter, Kimberly, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a., committed between June 1, 1982, and August 17, 1982. Defendants were also convicted of trying to cover up these crimes by giving false information  [*631]  and otherwise acting to hinder their apprehension in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b. 1 

 [***3]  [**1241]   In the late spring or early summer of 1982, Kimberly arrived from Chicago to live with her mother, Judy Smith, and her mother's male companion, John Yarbough, in an apartment they occupied together in East Orange, New Jersey. From the date of her arrival, she was sexually abused. What is so incredibly shocking about this case is the callousness of the crimes. Unlike other situations in which the sexual abuse of a child by one in parental authority is concealed from the other, these defendants were partners in crime. In the three separate periods that were testified to, Smith not only did not intervene on behalf of her child, she on occasion condoned the abuse with mocking questions. When the sexual abuse was revealed through Kimberly's confidences in a friend, Smith went so far as to threaten Kimberly's life. Both tried to send the victim back to Chicago to cover up the crimes, but Kimberly was returned to New Jersey and defendants were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged.

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100 N.J. 627 *; 498 A.2d 1239 **; 1985 N.J. LEXIS 2387 ***


Prior History:  [***1]  On certification to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, whose opinion is reported at 195 N.J. Super. 135 (1984).


sentence, consecutive sentences, consecutive, offenses, concurrent, offender, parole, impose sentence, counts, maximum, terms, aggregate, imprisonment, felony, multiple offenses, guidelines, convicted, charges, sentencing court, aggravating, mitigating factors, concurrent sentences, aggravating factor, trial court, sexual, extended term, maximum term, disqualifer, limitations, hindering

Criminal Law & Procedure, Sentencing, Sentencing Guidelines, General Overview, Concurrent Sentences, Consecutive Sentences, Imposition of Sentence, Factors, Criminal Offenses, Departures From Guidelines, Downward Departures, Aberrant Behavior, Multiple Convictions, Presentence Reports, Ranges, Postconviction Proceedings, Parole