PEOPLE v. TUCKER

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

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Marc TUCKER, appellant.

Decided: September 30, 2008

STEVEN W. FISHER, J.P., MARK C. DILLON, WILLIAM E. McCARTHY, and ARIEL E. BELEN, JJ. Lynn W.L. Fahey, New York, N.Y. (Sarah J. Berger of counsel), for appellant. Richard A. Brown, District Attorney, Kew Gardens, N.Y. (John M. Castellano, Johnnette Traill, and Frances Impellizzeri of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Eng, J.), rendered April 2, 2004, convicting him of assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

The trial court did not err in admitting into evidence a police detective's testimony that the defendant became a suspect after the detective spoke with nontestifying individuals who did not witness the crime.   As this testimony was elicited not for the truth of the matter asserted, but to explain the sequence of events leading to the defendant's arrest, it did not violate the defendant's right to confront witnesses (see People v. Reynolds, 46 A.D.3d 845, 848 N.Y.S.2d 278;  People v. Dean, 41 A.D.3d 495, 837 N.Y.S.2d 714;  People v. Ruis, 11 A.D.3d 714, 784 N.Y.S.2d 558).  “Moreover, there was no suggestion that these individuals implicitly accused, or even possessed sufficient information to implicate, the defendant in the commission of the crime” (People v. Barboza, 24 A.D.3d 460, 461, 805 N.Y.S.2d 657).   Accordingly, there was no danger that the jury “would treat this evidence as an accusation by a nontestifying witness” (People v. Newland, 6 A.D.3d 330, 331, 775 N.Y.S.2d 308;  People v. Barboza, 24 A.D.3d at 461, 805 N.Y.S.2d 657;  People v. Nicholas, 1 A.D.3d 614, 767 N.Y.S.2d 663).

The sentence imposed was not excessive (see People v. Suitte, 90 A.D.2d 80, 455 N.Y.S.2d 675).

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