On the night of March 12, 1976, an attorney was at the home of an 18-year-old girlfriend of his. He was known to use heroin. He had offered the girl’s brother some in the past. The girl’s brother later testified in court that on this night, he went to his sister’s room and knocked. She did not answer her door and it was locked. He left and returned later. He again knocked on the bedroom door of his sister. This time the door was opened by the attorney. The brother could see his sister in the bed gasping for air and breathing heavily. The boy asked if she was OK and was advised by the attorney that she was just coming down from some depressants. A New York DWI Lawyer said the attorney told the girl’s brother that she would be OK in the morning. The boy went in to check on her and the attorney grabbed his briefcase and left in a hurried fashion.
The girl passed out and the brother left her in her room because the attorney had said that she would be all right. The attorney went to the home of a different friend and was in an agitated state. He informed the group of friends that was gathered there that he had injected the girl with a small amount of heroin in her buttocks. He said that he panicked when she passed out and ran out of the house. The following morning, the brother found his sister dead.
Several months later, the attorney was arrested in connection with the girl’s death. A New York DWI Lawyer said he was indicted and convicted of manslaughter in the second degree, and criminal injection of a narcotic drug. He had been charged with criminally negligent homicide as well, but he was acquitted on that charge. He filed an appeal. The defendant maintains that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to corroborate the information that they had obtained from the civilian witnesses that he had confessed to. He maintains that if the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove the case, then there should be no conviction based solely on statements that he may have made to third parties after the event.
The statute that he referred to in order to bolster his defense is designed to protect a defendant from uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. An accomplice may create a situation in which they state that the defendant confessed to them when in fact, the defendant did not. They may do this in order to work a deal so that they do not get charged or convicted. They are also known to construct this type of situation if they are trying to shift culpability to a defendant and away from their own involvement. It is also noted that there are times when a person may confess falsely to a crime that they did not even commit. For this reason, the law encourages corroboration from an outside source who is not culpable of any wrong doing.
In the case at hand, however, the confession was made to two different people at the same time who were not involved in the incident at all. The fact that the witnesses cannot be held culpable in the case at all prevents the defense from winning the argument that they would create the false confession to somehow prevent them from some type of prosecution. The night of the confession, the attorney had only referred to the dead girl by her first name which is a common name. There is no way that the witnesses could have known from that information who she was. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said there was also no reason to believe that if they had been told who she was, that they could have gotten anyone to her in time to make any difference in the outcome. The Supreme Court upholds his conviction.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates has experienced criminal lawyers. They are knowledgeable in defending all criminal cases including negligent homicide or criminal injection of narcotics. They have convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area.