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Defendant Moves for Supression of Evidence


On March 30, 1985 at approximately 10:00 P.M., the accused and his accomplice entered a supermarket in Island Park and accosted the manager who was in the process of closing the store. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the accused pointed a loaded pistol at the manager, cocked it and told him not to move, give the keys to the safe otherwise his head would be blown out. The two men forced the manager into the office where the safe was located. The accused heard footsteps so he gave the gun to his accomplice and left the accomplice to guard the manager while he investigated the footsteps he heard. On leaving the office, he observed the manager’s wife who had been in the store with her husband. The accused grabbed her and was pushing her toward the office when a loud shot was heard. The accomplice came running out of the office and told the accused that he had shot the manager accidentally, when the gun went off as the manager tried to free himself from a headlock. The accomplice took the keys from the manager’s body and they forced the wife to the rear of the store where they attempted to unlock the doors. Unable to find keys to all the locks they attempted to break them with a bolt cutter and some other tools they found in the store. At this point the night porter, who, unbeknownst to the accused and his accomplice, had been sleeping upstairs, came down and observed them trying to escape. He recognized the accomplice as a former employee of the store and he assumed that they had been accidentally locked in. He advised them that they would have to call a manager to unlock the doors. As the night porter, the accused and the accomplice began walking toward the front of the store, the night porter saw blood and part of the manager’s body through the office door and he realized what had occurred. The accomplice drew a gun and told the night porter that if he said anything they would be back to kill him. The accused threw a shopping cart through the plate glass windows in the front of the supermarket. As the accused and his accomplice ran through the parking lot, they were observed by a cashier who worked in the store. Although she did not recognize the accused, she was able to identify the accomplice.

By talking with the night porter and the cashier, the police learned that the accomplice was one of the perpetrators. They also learned from another store employee that just before closing time, the accomplice was seen in the store talking to his cousin who worked at the supermarket. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the police interviewed the employee who initially stated that he had not seen his cousin since the early afternoon just before he left for work. Eventually he admitted that he had seen the accomplice and the accused after the incident when at their request he had driven them to a motel in Queens. Armed with this information and the assistance of the accused man’s brother-in-law, who was a New York City police officer, the police were able to arrest the accused and his accomplice less than 24 hours after the gun crime.

After their arrest, both the accused and his accomplice agreed to give statements to the police. The accused admitted that it was his idea to rob the supermarket and he described how he enlisted his accomplice’s aid. He also alleged that the supermarket employee had agreed to assist them in the plan by advising them when the store was about to close. He stated that the supermarket employee also consented to meet them after the robbery and hide the gun and any proceeds of the criminal act. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said he went on to describe how he and the accomplice attempted to commit the robbery and the resulting death of the manager. The accomplice gave a confession, fully implicating himself in the crime, which was remarkably similar to the accused man’s confession. The police then interviewed again the supermarket employee and he gave a second written statement in which he claimed that he knew that the accused and the accomplice were going to rob the store. He admitted that prior to the robbery he told them that the store would be closing in a few minutes and he conceded that he received and hid the gun after the criminal act.

Prior to trial, the accused moved for a severance of his trial from that of his accomplice on the ground that the admission of his accomplice’s statements would constitute a violation of his right to confront and cross-examine witnesses. The court denied the motion by finding that all the confessions were sufficiently interlocking to avoid any prejudicial effect. As each statement was admitted into evidence, the court cautioned the jury that the statement could be used only against the accused man who made it.

The accused man’s argument that his statements should have been suppressed because they were taken in violation of his right to counsel is without merit. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the record reveals that at the time of his arrest, the accused had a criminal charge pending against him in New York City. When questioned by the police regarding his prior arrests, the accused indicated that he had been arrested in New York City in 1984, but it had been all taken care of. Given the accused man’s representation that the charge was no longer pending, the police cannot be charged with either actual or constructive knowledge that there was a pending charge or that he was represented by counsel. Moreover, since the investigation of the current felony act was handled by the Nassau County police and the prior charge, for a relatively minor criminal act, was pending in New York City, it cannot be argued that the police displayed bad faith in accepting the accused man’s statement that the previous charge against him had been disposed of.

The court also reject the accused man’s contention that his conviction for the gun crime related act must be reversed because the jury delayed in turning over certain material which consisted of notes made by the officer who conducted ballistics tests on the gun which killed the manager. The record reveals that the accused man was not substantially prejudiced by the delay. The material was produced before the officer testified and the court offered the accused an adjournment if, after reviewing the notes, the accused wished to have his own expert examine the gun.

Prior to the start of trial, the counsel waived the accused man’s presence in order to discuss certain procedural matters with the court. At the end of the trial after deliberations had begun, the attorney noticed one of the jurors apparently taking notes during a recharge on the law. When the incident was reported to the court, it, with the agreement of all the attorneys, sent its head clerk to the jury room to collect any notes which the jurors may have written. The accused claims that he was deprived of his right to be present at all material stages of his trial. The proceedings which took place were not material since they did not bear any relation, reasonably substantial, to the fullness of his opportunity to defend against the charge.

The sentence imposed was not unduly harsh or excessive and did not constitute an improvident exercise of discretion. The remaining contentions raised by the accused were considered and were found to be without merit.

Even how much planned any crime can be things could definitely become worst that expected. If you find yourself wanting to consult a Nassau County Arrest Lawyer for crime committed to you, call Stephen Bilkis and Associates in their offices all over the metro. You may also find a Nassau County Criminal Attorney that can guide you all throughout your lawsuit action.

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