PEOPLE v. SANTARELLI

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

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. John SANTARELLI, appellant.

Decided: January 31, 2000

WILLIAM D. FRIEDMANN, J.P., ANITA R. FLORIO, ROBERT W. SCHMIDT and NANCY E. SMITH, JJ. Kevin P. Gilleece, White Plains, 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 (Leavitt, J.), rendered June 10, 1997, convicting him of escape in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.   The appeal brings up for review the denial, after a hearing, of that branch of the defendant's omnibus motion which was to suppress statements made to the police.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

 We agree with the defendant that the hearing court improperly denied that branch of his motion which was to suppress statements which he made to the police at the scene of his arrest, as those statements were made in response to police interrogation designed to elicit inculpatory statements from the defendant prior to the reading of Miranda warnings (see, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444-445, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694;  People v. Chapple, 38 N.Y.2d 112, 378 N.Y.S.2d 682, 341 N.E.2d 243;  People v. Huffman, 41 N.Y.2d 29, 34, 390 N.Y.S.2d 843, 359 N.E.2d 353;  People v. Soto, 183 A.D.2d 926. 927, 584 N.Y.S.2d 160).   However, any error in admitting the statements made to the police at the scene of the arrest was harmless in light of the overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt (see, People v. Crimmins, 36 N.Y.2d 230, 367 N.Y.S.2d 213, 326 N.E.2d 787;  People v. Molina, 248 A.D.2d 489, 490, 670 N.Y.S.2d 44).

 The hearing court properly denied that branch of the defendant's motion which was to suppress statements which he subsequently made to the police at the station house.   These later statements, which were made after the defendant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his Miranda Rights (see, People v. Santiago, 72 N.Y.2d 836, 530 N.Y.S.2d 546, 526 N.E.2d 36;  People v. Mejia, 262 A.D.2d 585, 691 N.Y.S.2d 798;  People v. Rosario, 245 A.D.2d 470, 666 N.Y.S.2d 661;  People v. Vanegas, 237 A.D.2d 469, 655 N.Y.S.2d 965), were admissible because the defendant was not subject to such continuous interrogation that the Miranda warnings given to him were insufficient to protect his rights (see, People v. Chapple, supra, at 115, 378 N.Y.S.2d 682, 341 N.E.2d 243;  People v. Brown, 243 A.D.2d 484, 663 N.Y.S.2d 76;  People v. Hicks, 226 A.D.2d 938, 641 N.Y.S.2d 161).

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 contentions are either unpreserved for appellate review or without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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