Articles Posted in Murder

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Defendant Walker was indicted for several felonies including murder in the second degree (felony murder) (N.Y. Pen. Law §  125.25[3] ), two counts of kidnapping in the second degree (N.Y. Pen. Law §  135.20), robbery in the first degree (N.Y. Pen. Law §  160.15[2] ), criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (N.Y. Pen. Law §  265.03[1] ), and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (N.Y. Pen. Law §  265.02[1], [4]).  He was ultimately convicted of several crimes including felony murder. As part of his defense, he claimed justification.  However, the trial judge disallowed the defense of justification. On appeal, Walker argues that he should have been allowed to argue justification.

Justification, also referred to as self-defense, is an oft used defense to criminal charges such as murder and assault.  It an affirmative defense governed by N.Y. Pen. Law §  35.15.  The law allows a person to use physical force against another if he possesses an honest and reasonable belief that he is facing unlawful physical force or an imminent threat of unlawful physical force.  In the absence of an honest and reasonable belief of that he is facing unlawful force or a threat, the use of such physical force would be a crime.

While it is well-established that a person has the legal right to use physical force that would otherwise amount to murder or assault, the question in his case is whether a person has the right to use physical force that would otherwise amount to felony murder.

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(People v. A., NY Slip Op 00894)

This is an appeal from a Supreme Court decision dated 8/26/15, convicting the defendant of assault in the first degree.

The court ordered that the judgment be reversed and a new trial is ordered.

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(People v. DA, NY Slip Op 08537)

December 13, 2018

In this case, the court weighs the question regarding whether the grand jury can readdress a charge that has been presented to it after it had been dismissed in a prior proceeding. The court held that a charge may not be resubmitted to another grand jury pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 190.75(3).

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A man filed an action to dismiss the charge of murder against him. He subsequently indicted in the State of Maryland, along with his colleague, on the allegation that he conspired with them to the murder of the victim. But, the man was acquitted of the conspiracy charge upon a jury verdict. The narrow issue presented by the motion is whether the conspiracy ruling and the murder statute are designed to prevent different kinds of harm.

The acts allegedly committed by the man which underlie both the Maryland and New York court are substantially the same. The evidence revealed that the man directed his colleague to go from Maryland to New York to kill the victim. It is alleged that the man’s colleague shot and killed the victim in New York.

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The defendant is a confessed serial killer and was convicted by a jury for several offenses including one count of first degree murder for intentionally causing the death of three women in separate criminal transactions that were committed in a similar fashion.

The people filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty and because of this a separate sentencing proceeding followed the jury case. The jury in the sentencing court determined unanimously that the defendant should be executed. The defendant appealed to this court.

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The petitioner, an inmate at Coxsackie Correctional Facility, has commenced the instant CPLR Article 78 proceeding to review a determination by respondent New York State Board of Parole denying his request for discretionary release. Respondent opposes the petition seeking its dismissal.

Currently, the petitioner is serving an indeterminate prison sentence of 15 years to life upon a plea of guilty to Murder in the second degree. The underlying offense that occurred in 1980 involved the petitioner, in concert with others, robbing a victim at knife-point and then stabbing the victim to death. The petitioner was approximately 20 years old at the time he committed the underlying offense.

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In January of 1996, a man offered a woman $1,500.00 to use her apartment for a drug deal. She accepted and the man and another man moved into the woman’s apartment to wait for a large amount of heroin to be delivered from San Francisco by another man. While in the apartment, the woman saw that one of the men, the defendant, had a small caliber handgun. When the man from San Francisco who was delivering the heroin arrived in New York, the woman and two men went to his hotel.

Several days later, the defendant and the woman returned to the hotel and searched it for the heroin. When they found it, they returned to the woman’s apartment where the other men were watching television. The woman stated that she was in the living room when the defendant and the other men went into the back bedroom. They came out about 15 minutes later without the man from San Francisco. She testified later that she went in to the back bedroom and discovered the San Francisco man lying on the bed face down with blood pouring from his head. The defendant and the other two men divided the heroin among them and then convinced the woman to help them wrap the body in a rug. They dumped the body along Riverside Drive in Upper Manhattan where it was quickly found and identified.

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Daniel D was indicted along with five other individuals for the murder in the first degree of George Simon. All of the defendants were acquitted of the murder charge but Mr. D was ultimately convicted of assault with intent to kill. For this conviction, he received a sentence of 5 to 10 years. Following his conviction, evidence surfaced that lead to an indictment of Mr. Di Lapo on several counts of burglary in the first degree and attempted robbery in the first degree. On the advice of his defense attorney, Mr. D plead guilty to one count of attempted robbery in the first degree. The Erie County Court sentenced him to a term of 5 to 15 years, to be served consecutively with his previous sentence. Later, this sentence was reduced to 5 to 11 years but was still required to be served consecutively. Mr. D appealed the sentence to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. The Appellate Division subsequently affirmed the trial court’s decision unanimously.

The case then proceeded to the New York State Court of Appeals. The Court was asked to consider whether the elements of the alleged Robbery and the elements of the first degree attempted assault similar enough to prevent the defendant from receiving a double punishment as prescribed under New York law.

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