PEOPLE v. SIRICO

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

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Thomas SIRICO, appellant.

Decided: October 27, 2009

PETER B. SKELOS, J.P., JOSEPH COVELLO, FRED T. SANTUCCI, and RUTH C. BALKIN, JJ. Robert C. Mitchell, Riverhead, N.Y. (Robert B. Kenney of counsel), for appellant. Thomas J. Spota, District Attorney, Riverhead, N.Y. (Anne E. Oh of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Suffolk County (Kahn, J.), rendered January 9, 2007, convicting him of murder in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

 The defendant claims that he was deprived of a fair trial when the County Court permitted the prosecutor to introduce evidence of a prior bad act.   Any error in admitting this evidence was harmless because the evidence of the defendant's guilt was overwhelming and there is no significant probability that, had it not been for the alleged error, the jury would have acquitted the defendant (see People v. Jackson, 8 N.Y.3d 869, 871, 832 N.Y.S.2d 477, 864 N.E.2d 607;  People v. Crimmins, 36 N.Y.2d 230, 367 N.Y.S.2d 213, 326 N.E.2d 787).

Viewing the intoxication evidence in the light most favorable to the defendant, the County Court properly denied the defendant's request for an intoxication charge (see People v. Gaines, 83 N.Y.2d 925, 927, 615 N.Y.S.2d 309, 638 N.E.2d 954;  People v. Farnsworth, 65 N.Y.2d 734, 735, 492 N.Y.S.2d 12, 481 N.E.2d 552).

 Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution (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, in fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see CPL 470.15[5];  People v. Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 342, 849 N.Y.S.2d 480, 880 N.E.2d 1), we accord great deference to the jury's opportunity to view the witnesses, hear the testimony, and observe demeanor (see People v. Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 490, 495, 515 N.Y.S.2d 761, 508 N.E.2d 672).   Upon reviewing the record, 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 sentence imposed was not excessive (see People v. Thompson, 60 N.Y.2d 513, 519, 470 N.Y.S.2d 551, 458 N.E.2d 1228;  People v. Suitte, 90 A.D.2d 80, 455 N.Y.S.2d 675).

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