NY Slip Op. 07041
This is an appeal from a judgment entered on 11-20-14 against the defendant. The defendant was found guilty of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 3d degree and possession of drug paraphernalia in the 2nd degree. Pursuant to PL section 220.50 - , the defendant argues that there was no direct evidence of constructive possession and therefore he should never have been convicted. The trial court erred in failing to provide a circumstantial evidence instruction to the jury. This court agrees. The judgment against the defendant is reversed and a new trial is granted.
Police officers executed a search warrant at the residence of the defendant’s girlfriend. The girlfriend leased this apartment in her name. When the police searched the premises, they found baggies of cocaine throughout the apartment, as well as paraphernalia in the form of scales, sandwich baggies and dillutant. The defendant’s name was on mail left at the apartment, but otherwise, it didn’t appear that he lived there.