A burglary and stealing of a revolver allegedly took place while the owner of the house was away from home while attending her husband’s funeral. The revolver was the only item stolen in the house. A man was arrested subsequently at which time he allegedly stated that he had bought the gun from another person. The possession of the revolver by the man is the only connection between the man and the crimes. Sources revealed that there is no proof that the man ever knew the owner of the gun, or knew that the owner had died, or knew that the person had a gun.
Consequently, the decision convicting the man for the crimes of burglary, larceny and possession of a loaded revolver and burglar’s instruments is affirmed
Another related appeal is also filed by the offender from the decision convicting him of burglary in the second degree, petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.
The offender was convicted of burglary and related offenses in connection with the theft of some jewelry from the basement apartment of a three-family house. At the time of the theft the offender was employed as a home attendant for the owner of the house, who lived on the first floor and was afflicted with multiple sclerosis. The owner’s niece, the complainant, lived in the basement apartment, into which access could be gained from the uncle’s apartment via an unlocked door.
At trial, the complainant testified that the offender did not have her permission to enter her apartment while she was at work, which was when the theft occurred. However, the only access to other parts of the basement was through the complainant’s apartment, and the complainant acknowledged that such access to the basement was sometimes required while she was at work. It was also established that the offender gave one of the items of jewelry, a cocktail ring, to his girlfriend on the night of the theft. While the offender initially told his girlfriend that he had purchased the ring a couple of weeks before, in a subsequent letter the offender stated that he found the ring in the driveway of his employer’s home on the day of the theft.
The theory of the man’s attorney was that, without the testimony of the man for whom the offender worked, the prosecution did not meet its burden of establishing that the offender was not given permission to enter the basement apartment on the day of the theft. Furthermore, while the evidence tended to establish that the offender possessed one of the items of jewelry taken from the complainant’s apartment, the prosecution failed to establish that the offender possessed that item with the knowledge that it was stolen.
Therefore, the jury rejected the defense, and convicted the offender of burglary in the second degree, petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree. The offender then filed an appeal.
The court stated that reversal is required, however, due to the trial court’s denial of the offender’s request for a missing witness charge with respect to his employer, who was the complainant’s uncle and the owner of the house that was allegedly burglarized.
Finally, the record contains no indication that the witness was unable to testify or that a missing witness charge would otherwise have been inappropriate.
The court stated that given that the evidence of the offender’s guilt is less than overwhelming, the errors cannot be considered harmless. As a result, the offender’s conviction is reversed, and a new trial ordered. The offender’s remaining contentions are either unpreserved for appellate review or without merit.
Whenever you need legal representation for your court case, you can seek assistance from the Queens County Criminal Lawyer. You can also ask the Queens County Grand Larceny Attorney or Queens County Petit Larceny Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates office for legal experts that might help you obtain your freedom.