PEOPLE v. BESS

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

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Felton BESS, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: November 21, 2002

SAXE, J.P., BUCKLEY, ROSENBERGER, LERNER, and GONZALEZ, JJ. Hae Jin Liu, for Respondent. Claudia Trupp, for Defendant-Appellant.

Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Nicholas Iacovetta, J.), rendered March 19, 2001, convicting defendant, upon his plea of guilty, of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and sentencing him, as a second felony offender, to a term of 4 1/212 to 9 years, unanimously affirmed.

The court properly denied defendant's application to withdraw his guilty plea.   Defendant's claim that he was under the influence of drugs when he took the plea was belied by the transcript of his allocution and the court's own clear recollection of defendant's demeanor and responses (see People v. Wheeler, 289 A.D.2d 10, 734 N.Y.S.2d 20, lv. denied 97 N.Y.2d 763, 742 N.Y.S.2d 624, 769 N.E.2d 370;  People v. Clarke, 251 A.D.2d 7, 673 N.Y.S.2d 648;  People v. Bermudez, 228 A.D.2d 237, 643 N.Y.S.2d 564, lv. denied 89 N.Y.2d 919, 654 N.Y.S.2d 721, 677 N.E.2d 293).   We also note that the credibility of this claim was undermined by the fact that, during the lengthy period between the plea and sentencing, defendant made plea withdrawal applications on other grounds but made no mention of his present claim until after the court had rejected those grounds and was about to impose sentence.