Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Carlos SANCHEZ, also known as Jorge Bello, appellant.
Decided: April 18, 2018
JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, J.P., SYLVIA O. HINDS–RADIX, HECTOR D. LASALLE, VALERIE BRATHWAITE NELSON, JJ.
Patrick Michael Megaro, Forest Hills, NY, for appellant. Richard A. Brown, District Attorney, Kew Gardens, N.Y. (John M. Castellano, Johnnette Traill, and Eric C. Washer of counsel), for respondent.
DECISION & ORDER
Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Kenneth C. Holder, J.), rendered February 19, 2014, convicting him of murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence. The appeal brings up for review the denial, after a hearing, of that branch of the defendant's omnibus motion which was to suppress identification testimony.
ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution (see People v. Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 467 N.Y.S.2d 349, 454 N.E.2d 932), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt of murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree beyond a reasonable doubt (see People v. Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 342, 349, 849 N.Y.S.2d 480, 880 N.E.2d 1). The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant was a knowing accomplice to murder rather than a mere bystander or an accessory after the fact (see People v. Griffin, 145 A.D.3d 1551, 46 N.Y.S.3d 319; People v. Evans, 142 A.D.3d 1291, 38 N.Y.S.3d 354). The evidence established that the defendant was not merely present at the scene, but intentionally aided his companion in the commission of the murder (see People v. Ferrara, 220 A.D.2d 612, 632 N.Y.S.2d 819; People v. Dazi, 195 A.D.2d 571, 600 N.Y.S.2d 276). Moreover, in fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see CPL 470.15; People v. Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 342, 348, 849 N.Y.S.2d 480, 880 N.E.2d 1), we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt as to those crimes was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v. Romero, 7 N.Y.3d 633, 826 N.Y.S.2d 163, 859 N.E.2d 902).
The Supreme Court meaningfully responded to the jury note requesting the elements of murder in the second degree. The court gave the jury exactly the guidance it had asked for, and contrary to the defendant's contention, it was not obliged to add a discussion of acting in concert, which the jury did not request (see People v. Martinez, 8 A.D.3d 8, 777 N.Y.S.2d 488; People v. Williams, 297 A.D.2d 565, 747 N.Y.S.2d 159).
The defendant's remaining contention, regarding that branch of his omnibus motion which was to suppress identification testimony, is without merit (see People v. Gee, 99 N.Y.2d 158, 753 N.Y.S.2d 19, 782 N.E.2d 1155).
LEVENTHAL, J.P., HINDS–RADIX, LASALLE and BRATHWAITE NELSON, JJ., concur.
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