PEOPLE v. WILLIAMS

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

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Derrick WILLIAMS, etc., Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: April 17, 2001

SULLIVAN, P.J., ANDRIAS, ELLERIN, RUBIN and BUCKLEY, JJ. Argiro Kosmetatos, for Respondent. David L. Glovin, for Defendant-Appellant.

Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Barbara Newman, J.), rendered October 1, 1998, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree, and sentencing him, as a persistent violent felony offender, to a term of 18 years to life, unanimously affirmed.

 The court properly exercised its discretion in admitting uncharged crimes evidence to complete the narrative, to explain why the complainant did not wish to call the police after the incident because of her fear of defendant (People v. Castillo, 275 A.D.2d 682, 713 N.Y.S.2d 526, lv. denied 96 N.Y.2d 733, 722 N.Y.S.2d 799, 745 N.E.2d 1022;  People v. Steinberg, 170 A.D.2d 50, 73, 573 N.Y.S.2d 965, affd. 79 N.Y.2d 673, 584 N.Y.S.2d 770, 595 N.E.2d 845), and to explain the behavior of another witness during the early morning hours on the incident date.   The court's limiting instructions served to eliminate any prejudice to defendant (People v. Mehmeti, 279 A.D.2d 420, 719 N.Y.S.2d 574).

 The court's Sandoval ruling balanced the appropriate factors and was a proper exercise of discretion (see, People v. Walker, 83 N.Y.2d 455, 458-459, 611 N.Y.S.2d 118, 633 N.E.2d 472;  People v. Mattiace, 77 N.Y.2d 269, 275-276, 567 N.Y.S.2d 384, 568 N.E.2d 1189;  People v. Pavao, 59 N.Y.2d 282, 292, 464 N.Y.S.2d 458, 451 N.E.2d 216).   The court properly permitted inquiry into violent crimes that were probative of defendant's willingness to place his interests above those of society.