PEOPLE v. HALL

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

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Ronald HALL, appellant.

Decided: September 27, 1999

SONDRA MILLER, J.P., FRED T. SANTUCCI, GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN and ANITA R. FLORIO, JJ. Gary E. Eisenberg, Monroe, N.Y., for appellant. Michael E. Bongiorno, District Attorney, New City, N.Y. (Ann C. Sullivan of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Rockland County (Nelson, J.), rendered January 30, 1997, convicting him of burglary in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the People (see, People v. Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 467 N.Y.S.2d 349, 454 N.E.2d 932), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.   Moreover, upon the exercise of our factual review power, we are satisfied that the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence (see, CPL 470.15[5] ).

 The defendant's contention that certain remarks by the prosecutor during opening statements and summation were improper is unpreserved for appellate review (see, CPL 470.05[2];  People v. Dien, 77 N.Y.2d 885, 568 N.Y.S.2d 899, 571 N.E.2d 69;  People v. Mapp, 245 A.D.2d 307, 667 N.Y.S.2d 265).   In any event, the challenged comments were harmless given the overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt (see, People v. Crimmins, 36 N.Y.2d 230, 241-242, 367 N.Y.S.2d 213, 326 N.E.2d 787;  People v. Corrica, 243 A.D.2d 722, 665 N.Y.S.2d 310, appeal denied 91 N.Y.2d 890, 669 N.Y.S.2d 4, 691 N.E.2d 1030).

 Contrary to the defendant's contention, the court's Sandoval ruling reflected a proper balancing between the prejudicial effect of his prior convictions and their probative value on the issue of his credibility (see, People v. Sandoval, 34 N.Y.2d 371, 357 N.Y.S.2d 849, 314 N.E.2d 413).   The mere number of convictions was not unduly prejudicial (see, People v. Aguilera, 156 A.D.2d 698, 549 N.Y.S.2d 454), but rather, was highly probative of the defendant's willingness to place his own interests before those of society (see, People v. Ruiz, 248 A.D.2d 647, 670 N.Y.S.2d 520).

The defendant was provided with meaningful representation by counsel throughout the pretrial hearing, the trial, and the sentencing (see, People v. Flores, 84 N.Y.2d 184, 186, 615 N.Y.S.2d 662, 639 N.E.2d 19;  People v. Baldi, 54 N.Y.2d 137, 147, 444 N.Y.S.2d 893, 429 N.E.2d 400).

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

The defendant's remaining contention is without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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