The defendant was indicted on two counts of criminal coercion in the first degree and two counts of unlawful imprisonment in the first degree.
The charges in the case stem from an incident that occurred in July at a bar located in Rensselaerville located in Albany County. The record shows that the defendant and another male were in the bar in the afternoon, but the defendant left claiming that he was tired and that he was going home.
The other gentleman stayed at the bar and drank steadily all afternoon. At around eight in the evening he approached a woman at the bar and became abusive towards her. Two other gentlemen came to her rescue and the gentleman eventually left the bar.
Not long after, the man returned to the bar along with the defendant. According to several witnesses, the gentleman had a gun and ordered the two men that had helped the woman to place their hands on the bar. The two gentlemen did this and the man told the defendant to frisk them.
The State Police were called, but before they got there the defendant and the other man were persuaded to leave. The defendant and the other gentleman went to the parking lot and that is where they were when the police arrived and arrested them.
The police officers did not find a handgun after searching the home and car of the gentleman. However, the police found a holster and some ammunition at the house and the cylinder of a handgun and ammunition were found in the trunk of his car.
The gentleman was indicted on the same counts as the defendant, but the case against him was dismissed when he was killed. The defendant was convicted of coercion in the first degree against one of the men at the bar, but was acquitted on the coercion charges against the other man. The defendant was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of two and a third years to seven years. The defendant is now appealing the judgment and sentence.
Case Discussion and Decision
The defendant claims that the county court made an error when they failed to charge coercion in the second degree as a lesser included offense of coercion in the first degree. The court rejects this claim.
The defendant also claims that the verdict was inconsistent as he was acquitted of coercion in the first degree against one of the men at the bar, but convicted on the charge against the other individual.
The court finds that the verdict was not inconsistent and this claim is denied.
All other claims made by the defendant are found to be without merit and the appeal is denied. The judgment and sentence made by the previous court are affirmed.
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