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Defendant Appeals Denial of Huntly Hearing


In 1987, a man was arrested at his place of business for raping his 15-year-old step sister on several different occasions. He was also charged with the rape of a 12-year-old neighbor when she was at the house where he lived. That incident was supposed to have occurred on April 11, 1986. He was taken into custody where he stated that he wanted to talk to an attorney. The police detectives stopped talking to him and even refused to talk to him until he obtained an attorney. They provided him with a telephone and a telephone book. He called more than ten attorneys attempting to find one that would represent him to no avail. He was ultimately assigned a public defender to handle his case.

While being transferred to a holding cell after his arraignment, the subject escaped from custody and had to be re-arrested and the charge of escape was added to his offenses. He was convicted on all charges and later filed an appeal. He stated that when he requested an attorney but could not find one, the officers should have taken him downstairs to the public defender’s office. The majority of the justices found that contention to be without merit. There was nothing at that point in time that would have enabled the police officers to know if the defendant was negligent and if he was, if he would qualify for a public defender at a later time.

He contended that the court erred in denying his attorney’s motion to reopen the defendant’s Huntley hearing. The defendant was treated well while in custody and was fully informed of his rights under Miranda v Arizona. In fact, in spite of the fact that the defendant made several requests to go ahead and talk to the police officers after his initial request for an attorney, the officers refused to talk to him until he had obtained one. Since all rules were followed and the statements that the defendant made that were used in court were spontaneous utterances, it was only correct to allow them to be presented as evidence against the defendant in court.

Next, the defendant stated that his verdict should be overturned because the court refused to dismiss the indictments against him when he was not allowed to appear in front of the Grand Jury and testify. However, he is incorrect about any rights that he had to appeal this particular point. The reason provided by the court was that the motions that were filed by his new attorney, who was not a public defender, were not filed in a timely fashion. Any motion of that sort must be filed with the trial court within five days of the arraignment of the defendant.

Then the defendant’s new attorney filed a motion to separate the charges of rape involving his stepsister, the rape of the neighbor child, and the escape. The court refused his motions because it would have drawn out a case in which the evidence was so similar as to be duplicitous when it would come to testimony. It is not efficient to have the same witnesses testify to the same information three different times when it can all be consolidated into one case and the witnesses would only have to testify once.

The defendant also claimed that the court failed to charge justification as it related to the escape charge. In court, he stated that he had escaped because he was afraid that he would be hurt. The court found this contention to be without merit. Then he claimed that the reversal of his conviction would be appropriate since the prosecutor’s cross-examination of him was improper because it made him call the witnesses for the prosecution, liars. The problem with this contention is that there was no objection made during trial. The conviction is affirmed.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates, provides New York criminal lawyers to help you with convenient offices located throughout New York and the surrounding areas. Our New York sex crimes Attorneys will defend your rights in the event arrested or incarcerated.

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