PEOPLE v. RETZER

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, New York.

PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Bruce RETZER, Appellant.

Decided: December 31, 1997

Before GREEN, J.P., and LAWTON, WISNER, CALLAHAN and BOEHM, JJ. Linda S. Reynolds by Kristin Preve, Buffalo, for Appellant. Frank J. Clark by Kimberly Phelan, Buffalo, for Respondent.

 County Court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the testimony of defendant's nephew regarding an altercation between the nephew and a prosecution witness.  “While proof of bias or hostility of a witness is not collateral (see, People v. Gilland, 110 A.D.2d 1078 [488 N.Y.S.2d 935]), a court may, in the exercise of discretion, properly exclude such proof when it is too remote or speculative (see, People v. Thomas, 46 N.Y.2d 100, 105-106 [412 N.Y.S.2d 845, 385 N.E.2d 584], appeal dismissed 444 U.S. 891 [100 S.Ct. 197, 62 L.Ed.2d 127];  People v. Stewart [Vance], 188 A.D.2d 626, 627 [591 N.Y.S.2d 483])” (People v. Cullen, 236 A.D.2d 808, 653 N.Y.S.2d 747, lv. denied 89 N.Y.2d 1010, 658 N.Y.S.2d 248, 680 N.E.2d 622).   We reject the contention of defendant that he was deprived of a fair trial by less than meaningful representation (see, People v. Flores, 84 N.Y.2d 184, 187, 615 N.Y.S.2d 662, 639 N.E.2d 19).   The evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the People (see, People v. Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 621, 467 N.Y.S.2d 349, 454 N.E.2d 932), is sufficient to support the conviction, and the verdict is not contrary to the weight of the evidence (see, People v. Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 490, 495, 515 N.Y.S.2d 761, 508 N.E.2d 672).   The court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence without conducting a hearing (see, People v. Mendoza, 82 N.Y.2d 415, 426, 604 N.Y.S.2d 922, 624 N.E.2d 1017).   The court's limited disclosure of the contents of a prosecution witness's psychiatric records “properly balanced the interests of justice against the witness's needs for confidentiality” (People v. Arnold, 177 A.D.2d 633, 634, 576 N.Y.S.2d 339, lv. denied 79 N.Y.2d 853, 580 N.Y.S.2d 724, 588 N.E.2d 759).   The sentence imposed is not unduly harsh or severe.

Judgment unanimously affirmed.

MEMORANDUM: