PEOPLE v. HIRSCH

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

The PEOPLE, etc., Respondent, v. Kenneth HIRSCH, Appellant.

Decided: February 20, 2001

LAWRENCE J. BRACKEN, ACTING P.J., GLORIA GOLDSTEIN, HOWARD MILLER and SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, JJ. Leon H. Tracy, Jericho, N.Y., for appellant. Denis Dillon, District Attorney, Mineola, N.Y. (Robert A. Schwartz and Cara Brady of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Nassau County (LaPera, J.), rendered June 4, 1999, convicting him of burglary in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

 The evidence established that a burglar took the victims' jewelry, cash, and other personal belongings after forcibly entering their house by breaking the glass side door.   A fingerprint expert testified that a latent fingerprint lifted from the broken glass matched that of the defendant's left index finger.   Fingerprint evidence, although circumstantial in nature, is sufficient proof if it leads to a conclusion of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and excludes every reasonable hypothesis of innocence (see, People v. Murray, 168 A.D.2d 573, 562 N.Y.S.2d 788;  People v. Sparacino, 150 A.D.2d 814, 542 N.Y.S.2d 235;  People v. Talley, 110 A.D.2d 792, 488 N.Y.S.2d 62).   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), giving it the benefit of every reasonable inference to be drawn therefrom, we find that the jury reasonably concluded that the defendant's guilt was proven to a moral certainty (see, People v. Betancourt, 68 N.Y.2d 707, 506 N.Y.S.2d 310, 497 N.E.2d 677).   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 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 without merit.

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