PEOPLE v. VASQUEZ

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

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Paul VASQUEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: February 14, 2006

TOM, J.P., MAZZARELLI, SAXE, NARDELLI, McGUIRE, JJ. Joseph I. Stone, New York, for appellant. Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York (Bree Schonbrun of counsel), for respondent.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Rena K. Uviller, J.), rendered July 26, 2002, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree (two counts) and assault in the third degree, and sentencing him, as a second violent felony offender, to an aggregate term of 9 years, unanimously affirmed.

The court properly declined to submit a justification charge to the jury, because no reasonable view of the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to defendant, supported such a charge (see People v. Cox, 92 N.Y.2d 1002, 1004, 684 N.Y.S.2d 473, 707 N.E.2d 428 [1998] ).   The observations made by defendant's witnesses were very limited, and would not support a justification defense unless the jury resorted to speculation in order to fill in gaps in their testimony (see e.g. People v. Hubrecht, 2 A.D.3d 289, 290, 769 N.Y.S.2d 36 [2003], lv. denied 2 N.Y.3d 741, 778 N.Y.S.2d 467, 810 N.E.2d 920 [2004] ).

Defendant's challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence are unpreserved and we decline to review them.   Were we to review them, we would reject them.

We have considered and rejected defendant's remaining claims.