PEOPLE v. BESSAHA

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

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Ali BESSAHA, appellant.

Decided: August 12, 2008

A. GAIL PRUDENTI, P.J., PETER B. SKELOS, JOSEPH COVELLO, and RUTH C. BALKIN, JJ. Bruce R. Bekritsky, Mineola, N.Y., for appellant. Kathleen M. Rice, District Attorney, Mineola, N.Y. (Tammy J. Smiley, Andre K. Cizmarik, and Anthony J. Viola of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Nassau County (Calabrese, J.), rendered June 26, 2002, convicting him of murder 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 prosecution (see People v. Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 621, 467 N.Y.S.2d 349, 454 N.E.2d 932), and affording it the benefit of every favorable inference to be drawn therefrom, the evidence was legally sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (see People v. Sadler, 49 A.D.3d 670, 853 N.Y.S.2d 374, lv. denied 10 N.Y.3d 869, 860 N.Y.S.2d 496, 890 N.E.2d 259).   There is a valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences from which a rational jury could have found that the elements of murder in the second degree were proven beyond a reasonable doubt (see People v. Smith, 6 N.Y.3d 827, 817 N.Y.S.2d 575, 850 N.E.2d 622, cert. denied 548 U.S. 905, 126 S.Ct. 2971, 165 L.Ed.2d 953).   Furthermore, upon the exercise of our factual review power (see CPL 470.15[5] ), we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v. Romero, 7 N.Y.3d 633, 826 N.Y.S.2d 163, 859 N.E.2d 902).

The defendant's contention regarding the admission of prior bad acts is unpreserved for appellate review and, in any event, is without merit.

 The defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, raised in his supplemental pro se brief, is based, in part, on matter dehors the record, which cannot be reviewed on direct appeal (see People v. Drago, 50 A.D.3d 920, 855 N.Y.S.2d 252;  People v. Potts, 49 A.D.3d 782, 853 N.Y.S.2d 628, lv. denied 10 N.Y.3d 868, 860 N.Y.S.2d 495, 890 N.E.2d 258).   To the extent this claim can be reviewed, the defendant received meaningful representation (see People v. Adams, 12 A.D.3d 523, 783 N.Y.S.2d 867;  People v. Wright, 8 A.D.3d 507, 778 N.Y.S.2d 693;  People v. Washington, 5 A.D.3d 615, 772 N.Y.S.2d 851).

The defendant's remaining contention, which was raised in his supplemental pro se brief, is without merit.

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