Appeals Blog

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on June 8 & 15, 2018

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Bell-Scott (KA 17-00993) – In this appeal by the prosecution, 4AD reverses the lower court’s order granting D’s motion to suppress oral statements made to Syracuse Police detectives. 4AD finds that the evidence at the Huntley hearing establishes that D was not in custody when he made the statements, and […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on March 23, 2018

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Anderson (KA 14-00474) – In a 3-2 decision, 4AD affirms D’s murder conviction. Complainant was shot and killed in 2005 and while police questioned D, no arrest was made at that time. In 2011, while serving time on unrelated charges, D confessed both to an informant-inmate (who later agreed to […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on March 16, 2018

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Carrigan (KA 15-00130) – 4AD modifies the judgment by reversing those counts convicting him of use of a child in a sexual performance because the indictment failed to provide D with sufficient notice of the time periods during which he allegedly committed those acts. The lower court should have granted […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on February 9, 2018

Criminal Case Summaries  People v Akinlawon (KA 14-00562) – 4AD affirms D’s conviction of first-degree robbery. 4AD explains that contrary to D’s argument, the lower court did not err in denying his request to charge the jury on the statutory affirmative defense to first-degree robbery which a defendant is entitled to if the object displayed […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on February 2, 2018

Criminal Cases: People v Carter (KA 13-00303) – 4AD, in a 3 to 2 decision, reverses D’s conviction for second-degree murder, finding that the verdict is against the weight of the evidence. The People’s case rested on three points of circumstantial evidence: (1) that D entered the hotel with the decedent at approximately 7:00 p.m., […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on December 22, 2017

Criminal Cases: People v Barnes (KA 09-02123) – D was convicted of three counts of second-degree burglary and one count of first-degree reckless endangerment. The lower court sentenced him, as a persistent felony offender, to an aggregate term of 82 years to life in prison. 4AD finds the sentence is harsh and severe and reduces […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on November 17, 2017

Criminal People v. Pace (KA 16-01024) – lower court denied, without a hearing, defendant’s CPL 440.10 motion and the 4AD now reverses.  D stood accused of three felonies and three misdemeanors, all stemming from the same act or criminal transaction, and proceeded to jury trial.  However, the DA, just prior to jury selection, notified the […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on November 9, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Barber (KA 15-00947) – 4AD modifies D’s judgment of conviction, reversing the second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful imprisonment counts. First, the lower court’s instructions allowed the jury to convict D of assault based on a theory that was not reflected in the indictment. The indictment charged that D caused an […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on October 6, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Ayala (KA 15-02036) – 4AD reverses D’s conviction because the lower court erred in refusing to give the jury a circumstantial evidence charge. Police executed a search warrant in an apartment leased to D’s girlfriend. D was present during the search. Police found drugs and various paraphernalia, most of which […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on September 29, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Boyd (KA 12-00373) – 4AD affirms D’s convictions for attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees. D was a front-seat passenger in a car police pulled over. Based on D’s nervous and anxious behavior, police asked him to exit the car. When he did so, […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on June 30 & July 7, 2017

Criminal Cases: People v Colon (KA 15-01399) – 4AD reverses D’s conviction because the lower court erred in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. At the time D pled guilty, the lower court incorrectly assured him that he would be able to challenge the sufficiency of the grand jury evidence on appeal. Once […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on May 5, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Case (KA 15-00535) – 4AD reverses D’s conviction for first-degree rape, among other things, in the interest of justice, finding that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct. The prosecutor repeatedly appealed to the jury’s sympathy by asking it to do justice and protect the victim, bolstered the victim’s credibility, and injected […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on April 28, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Gibson (KA 15-01843) – 4AD reverses the lower court’s order, which adjudicated D a level three risk pursuant to SORA. The lower court improperly assessed points for criminal history based on D’s prior juvenile delinquency adjudication. The lower court assessed the points based on 4AD’s prior decision in People v […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on March 31, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Henderson (KA 12-02153) – 4AD reserves decision and remits this case for further proceedings for a second time. On D’s first appeal, 4AD remitted the matter for a hearing on D’s motion to withdraw his plea, which was based on D’s claim that counsel had advised him that he could […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on March 24, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Brown (KA 12-01592) – In this drug case, 4AD finds that the lower court erred in permitting the prosecution to cross-examine D regarding prior drug convictions and their underlying facts. 4AD notes that in drug cases, prior drug convictions present a special risk of impermissible prejudice because of the widely […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on February 10, 2017

Criminal Cases: People v Clay (KA 14-01509) – 4AD reverses D’s conviction because the prosecution failed to give notice of its intent to introduce identification evidence pursuant to CPL 710.30. A police officer identified D in a single-photo identification procedure about 2 hours after the incident. The prosecutor first gave notice of the identification at […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on February 3, 2017

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Betances (KA 14-00578) – 4AD reverses D’s conviction, finding that the lower court erred in denying a challenge for cause to a prospective juror. The prospective juror indicated that D “obviously” must have done something wrong or he would not be in court. The court asked the juror questions, but […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on December 23, 2016

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Collins (KA 14-02296) – 4AD reverses D’s conviction of first-degree sexual abuse based on two separate errors. First, the lower court erred in denying a challenge for cause regarding a prospective juror whose son is married to the daughter of the District Attorney of Ontario County, and who has a […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on November 18, 2016

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Freeman (KA 13-00893) – 4AD finds that the lower court erred in denying D’s motion to suppress tangible evidence and D’s statements. Police stopped D for riding his bike at night without a light. The officer then asked D why he was so nervous and if he was carrying drugs. […]

Continue Reading

Case Summaries – Fourth Department Decisions Released on November 10, 2016

Criminal Case Summaries: People v Bailey (KA 15-02068) – 4AD affirms the lower court’s order, which granted D’s CPL 440.10 motion to vacate the judgement based on newly discovered evidence. D was convicted of second-degree murder in connection with the death of a toddler who was in D’s care. The evidence at trial showed that […]

Continue Reading