The Court continued: The attorney’s receipt of the threats in New Jersey is not a matter related to her “status” or other attendant circumstance that does not support territorial jurisdiction. To the contrary, defendant’s alleged attempted extortion was complete upon his delivery of his threats to the attorney in New Jersey. Defendant’s delivery to, and the attorney’s receipt of, the threats in New Jersey constituted conduct that is an element of the crime of attempted theft by extortion charged in the indictment; he engaged in conduct in New Jersey-“purposely threatening”-that is an element of the crime of attempted theft by extortion. Territorial jurisdiction over the charged crime is therefore proper because the evidence before the grand jury showed defendant engaged in conduct in New Jersey constituting an element of the crime. N.J.S.A. 2C:1-3(a)(1).
We are not persuaded by defendant’s reliance on State v. Casilla, (App. Div. 2003), where the defendant was convicted of attempted theft by extortion based on threats the defendant made to a person in Ohio. We reversed that conviction and remanded for a new trial, finding that because there was a fact issue concerning whether the defendant actually placed the calls while located in New Jersey, the issue of the court’s territorial jurisdiction should have been submitted to the jury.
In Casilla, the territorial jurisdiction issue was dependent on whether the defendant was in New Jersey when he made the telephone calls to Ohio. Here, the evidence presented to the grand jury showed defendant engaged in conduct constituting an element of the offense in New Jersey: he made threats over the phone and via email to a person he knew was in New Jersey for the purpose of attempting to commit the crime of theft by extortion. There was no similar evidence extant or at issue in Casilla.
In sum, in rendering its decision dismissing the indictment, the court did not consider or apply the correct legal standard under because it focused solely on the results of defendant’s conduct. The court erred by failing to consider whether defendant engaged in conduct in New Jersey that constitutes an element of the offense for which he is charged. Because there was some evidence before the grand jury showing defendant engaged in conduct constituting an element of the crime charged in New Jersey, we reverse the court’s order dismissing the indictment based on its finding there is no territorial jurisdiction.
A related issue involves the separate sovereignties doctrine. That doctrine provides that there is no double jeopardy violation when one state prosecutes a defendant for a crime for which another state has already prosecuted, so long as jurisdiction can be established in both states. That continued validity of that doctrine is before the United States Supreme Court right now in the case of Gamble v. United States.