EXCLUSIVE: An ex-con from Teaneck who spent nine years behind bars for armed robbery is headed back to prison for at least eight more — and possibly up to 17 — after being found with three handguns, hollow-nosed bullets, stolen jewelry and a gold-testing kit during a crime spree.
Defense attorney Frank Carbonetti sought leniency for Kali Carter, 39, saying he was “one of the most intelligent defendants I have ever represented.”
While that might be so, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor David Calviello said, “it doesn’t translate into respect and character and judgment.”
Unlike many other criminals, Carter doesn’t have a drug habit or a disadvantaged life to blame for his crimes, Calviello told Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Roma in Hackensack on Friday.
“It was greed, pure greed,” he said.
“He was a young man 20 years ago, 18 years old, and he was convicted of robberies, weapons offenses, guns, thefts,” Calviello said. “At 18 he received a sentence tantamount to what professional offenders receive, for crimes that were serious and violent.
“You would think after [that time in prison], he’d change his life,” the assistant prosecutor said. “Instead, with the ink barely dry on the release order, he’s out and at it again — not low-level offenses, no, but a crime spree that led law enforcement to find him in their sights.”
His brother, 41-year-old Kahn Carter, was an accomplice in one of the burglaries, for which he was sentenced Friday to 270 days in the Bergen County Jail.
Given an opportunity to speak, Kali Carter had nothing but criticism for the criminal justice system.
“The court gave me $750,000 bail,” he told the judge. “I have seen child molesters, people who beat up women, hurt people, and get less bail.”
“Didn’t I change your bail?” Roma asked.
“Yeah, after my people posted a quarter-million dollars,” Carter answered.
Roma said Carter tried to game the system and immediately returned to crime while on parole — then had the nerve to complain about how he was treated.
Taken together, the judge said, the aggravating factors justified a 17-year plea deal that Carter took. He must serve eight years before he’s eligible for parole.
“He has no remorse,” Roma said. “He violated the sanctity of people’s homes.”
“You can’t even bring yourself to say you’re sorry,” the judge told Carter.”
Responding to an January 2012 alarm, Teaneck police found two Hanover Street rear doors broken and the homes burglarized Wednesday. Jewelry was taken in one of the break-ins, the chief said.
Detectives began watching Carter, who’d been suspected of other burglaries in town.
They eventually followed him and an alleged accomplice, ex-con Hakeem Chance, to an apartment complex on William Street in Englewood, where authorities said they tossed what turned out to be some of the stolen items into a trash bin.
The investigators quickly moved in and arrested both men.
Teaneck Police Chief Robert Wilson immediately alerted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force, which obtained a search warrant for Carter’s home and vehicle, leading to the seizures.
As a felon, Carter was prohibited from having a firearm.
STORY / PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter