PEOPLE v. THOMPSON

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

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Milton THOMPSON, appellant.

Decided: June 28, 1999

WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, J.P., THOMAS R. SULLIVAN, MYRIAM J. ALTMAN and ANITA R. FLORIO, JJ. Edward T. Mechmann, Yonkers, N.Y., for appellant. Jeanine Pirro, District Attorney, White Plains, N.Y. (Darcy P. Rydlun and Richard Longworth Hecht of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Westchester County (Smith, J.), rendered February 28, 1997, convicting him of robbery in the first degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree (two counts), upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

Contrary to the defendant's contention, he was not deprived of his right to be present during voir dire questioning of a prospective juror who was later peremptorily challenged by the defense counsel.   Although the defendant claims that he was absent during a sidebar conference at which the prospective juror's relationship with a police officer was mentioned, the prospective juror later repeated the substance of her sidebar comments in open court and in the defendant's presence.   Accordingly, the defendant had ample opportunity to meaningfully contribute to any discretionary decision to excuse the prospective juror (see, People v. Camacho, 90 N.Y.2d 558, 562-563, 664 N.Y.S.2d 578, 687 N.E.2d 396;  People v. Roman, 88 N.Y.2d 18, 29, 643 N.Y.S.2d 10, 665 N.E.2d 1050;  People v. Favor, 82 N.Y.2d 254, 268, 604 N.Y.S.2d 494, 624 N.E.2d 631;  see also, People v. Davidson, 89 N.Y.2d 881, 883, 653 N.Y.S.2d 254, 675 N.E.2d 1206;  People v. McDermott, 244 A.D.2d 918, 919, 665 N.Y.S.2d 187).

The defendant's remaining contentions, including those made with respect to his right to be present during the trial, are either lacking in merit or unpreserved for appellate review.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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