People v Bain
Court Discusses Whether the Evidence was Legally Insufficient for Conviction
The defendant indicted and convicted for manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, and driving while intoxicated after an accident that resulted in his wife’s death. The appealed the conviction on the ground that the evidence was legally insufficient and that the People failed to establish the chain of custody for the blood evidence recovered.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court did not consider the sufficiency of the evidence as the defendant failed to preserve his contentions for appellate review for vehicular manslaughter in the second degree. The defendant’s Queens County Criminal Attorney did not argue that the evidence was insufficient at trial to rebut the presumption that the defendant’s operation of the while intoxicated caused the death of his wife. However, it was agreed by the court that the evidence adduced at court was sufficient to convict the defendant of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree beyond a reasonable doubt and the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence.
The defendant’s other contention was in relation to the chain of custody relating to the blood evidence required. However, this ground was without merit as a deficiency in the chain of custody did not affect the admissibility but only affected the weight of the evidence as stated in the People v Hawkins, 11 NY3d at 494. However, the charge of driving while intoxicated was the dismissed as it was included in the charge of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree.
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