PEOPLE v. LAWRENCE

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

PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Ronnie LAWRENCE, Also Known as Berkley James, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: April 28, 2006

PRESENT:  GORSKI, J.P., MARTOCHE, SMITH, GREEN, AND PINE, JJ. Frank H. HiscockLegal Aid Society, Syracuse (Gerald T. Barth of Counsel), for Defendant-Appellant. William J. Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, Syracuse (Audra Albright of Counsel), for Plaintiff-Respondent.

 Defendant appeals from a judgment convicting him, upon a jury verdict, of assault in the first degree (Penal Law § 120.10[1] ) and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (§ 265.02[1] ).   Contrary to defendant's contention, the verdict is not against the weight of the evidence (see generally People v. Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 490, 495, 515 N.Y.S.2d 761, 508 N.E.2d 672).  “The jury's determinations concerning the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great deference” (People v. Anderson, 23 A.D.3d 1037, 1037, 803 N.Y.S.2d 461), and the jury was entitled to credit the testimony of the victim, which was corroborated by scientific evidence and the testimony of police witnesses, over that of defendant.   Defendant failed to preserve for our review his further contention that he was denied a fair trial by prosecutorial misconduct on summation (see CPL 470. 05[2] ).   In any event, although the prosecutor made several improper remarks on summation (see People v. Bonilla, 170 A.D.2d 945, 566 N.Y.S.2d 422, lv. denied 77 N.Y.2d 904, 569 N.Y.S.2d 936, 572 N.E.2d 619), the cumulative effect of the remarks did not deprive defendant of a fair trial (see People v. Rubin, 101 A.D.2d 71, 78, 474 N.Y.S.2d 348, lv. denied 63 N.Y.2d 711, 480 N.Y.S.2d 1038, 469 N.E.2d 114;  see also People v. Brinson, 265 A.D.2d 879, 880, 697 N.Y.S.2d 221, lv. denied 94 N.Y.2d 860, 704 N.Y.S.2d 535, 725 N.E.2d 1097).   Defendant also failed to preserve for our review his contention that County Court erred in failing to charge the jury with respect to the temporary lawful possession of a weapon (see CPL 470.05[2] ), and we decline to exercise our power to review that contention as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice (see CPL 470.15[6][a] ), particularly in view of the fact that the jury rejected defendant's justification defense.

It is hereby ORDERED that the judgment so appealed from be and the same hereby is unanimously affirmed.

MEMORANDUM: