STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. MARCO R. GAINES (FO-11-0207-19, MERCER COUNTY AND STATEWIDE) (RECORD IMPOUNDED)

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RECORD IMPOUNDED NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R. 1:36-3. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION DOCKET NO. A-3013-19 STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. MARCO R. GAINES, Defendant-Appellant. ________________________ Argued March 17, 2021 – Decided July 16, 2021 Before Judges Accurso and Enright. On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Mercer County, Docket No. FO-11-0207-19. John McGahren argued the cause for appellant (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, attorneys; John McGahren and Sean Radomski, on the briefs). Ryan William Sundstrom, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for respondent (Angelo J. Onofri, Mercer County Prosecutor, attorney; Ryan William Sundstrom, of counsel and on the brief). PER CURIAM Defendant Marco R. Gaines appeals from an April 7, 2020 conviction for the disorderly persons offense of contempt, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(b)(2), stemming from a violation of a February 5, 2019 temporary restraining order (TRO) obtained by his ex-girlfriend, A.G.-B., with whom he shares a son, Ryan 1. We affirm. Defendant was tried in absentia, after receiving his Hudson2 warnings. The State called three witnesses, namely A.G.-B., Sheriff's Officer Robert Kelly, and Officer Aaron Camacho. A.G.-B. testified she ended the parties' two-year dating relationship in January 2019 because defendant "was too abusive, mentally and physically." She stated that after she ended the relationship, defendant "wouldn't leave [her] alone," so she obtained a TRO in February 2019. The TRO expressly prohibited defendant from going to her residence and having "any oral, written, personal, electronic, or other form of contact of communication" with her. Additionally, the TRO granted A.G.-B. temporary 1 We use initials and pseudonyms to protect the privacy and interests of the victims. R. 1:38-3(c)(12). 2 State v. Hudson, 119 N.J. 165 (1990) (holding that a defendant may waive his presence at trial by either a written or oral waiver, or by conduct evidencing what is, in effect, such a waiver). A-3013-19 2 custody of Ryan, and specifically barred defendant from having any form of contact or exercising any parenting time with the parties' son. A.G.-B. testified that on April 19, 2019, defendant showed up unexpectedly at her home at approximately 1:00 a.m., demanding to see Ryan. When she refused his request and told him to leave, he kicked in her door, breaking her dead bolt. A.G.-B. testified defendant "just kept saying . . . I want to see my son." Further, A.G.-B. testified that although she advised defendant Ryan was sleeping, defendant "just kept yelling and . . . clenching his fists and trying to hit [her]" as she repeatedly told him he could not see their son. She then let defendant wake up and play with Ryan "because [she] was terrified that he would hit [her]" if she did not acquiesce to his demands. After …

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