This appeal’s case involves a murder and drug crime that had occurred in the Bronx and Manhattan respectively. On April 19, 2007, one male victim was shot to death while the other victim, also male, was shot in the buttocks and wounded outside an abandoned building. The defendant, also male, was charged for intentional second degree murder under Penal Law § 125.25, second degree assault under Penal Law § 120.05 and two counts of second degree weapon possession under Penal Law § 265.03[b]; . The defendant appealed and requested that the inculpatory statements he had made be withdrawn because they had been obtained in the absence of a lawyer. The criminal defendant alleged that his right to counsel had been violated.
The arresting detective had been able to identify the defendant as a suspect due to evidence he had received from two witnesses. On May 17, 2007, the detective had learned that the defendant had been arrested for a drug crime in Manhattan. The detective drove to Manhattan and had the defendant remanded into his custody. Shortly after returning to the Bronx, Miranda warnings had been issued to the defendant, and then two separate lineups were conducted for the two eyewitnesses. The defendant had stated that he had no knowledge of the shootings, but both eyewitnesses had identified the defendant during the lineups. The defendant was then charged with homicide. Afterwards, the detective, along with another detective, escorted the defendant back to Manhattan for the arraignment on the drug crime. It is stated in the appellate opinion, that the first detective may have told the defendant that he had been identified by the two eyewitnesses. Robbery was not a part of the crime.
The first detective requested that the defendant be placed in his custody (release on his own recognizance) at the end of the hearing. The defendant met with his assigned attorney while sitting nearby the two detectives in the courtroom. According to the first detective’s testimony, the attorney had introduced himself as the defendant’s attorney on the drug case. He then provided his business card to the first detective and asked to speak to his client in private. The detectives then proceeded to move to other rows in the court house. The first detective testified that he had heard the attorney state to the defendant, after the hearing ended, that he would not be crossing the bridge to represent him, and that he would have another attorney representing him for the homicide case. The second detective verified this account during his testimony.