B was charged with one count of robbery in the third degree. On April 9th, 2010, Mr. B allegedly stole $140 from Nellisha Gregory, who worked for a Syracuse branch Bank of America. According to the indictment issued against him, Mr. B took the money by force. This is important to note since the New York Penal Code defines robbery as the forcible stealing of another person’s property. Had the indictment not claimed that Mr. B used force, he may have only been charged with petty larceny or another minor crime. Had Mr. Brown used a weapon or other dangerous instrument in the commission of the robbery, the charge may have been elevated to robbery in the first degree.
Mr. B’s criminal defense attorney filed a motion with the Onondaga County Court on the grounds that the evidence presented to the Grand Jury was insufficient to support a charge of third degree robbery. The court was charged with determining whether the acts committed by Mr. B satisfied the elements of robbery in the third degree as defined under New York law. For purposes of the Grand Jury proceedings, the standard of proof is prima facie evidence, rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.