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People v. Nelson

Other Lower Courts

September 10, 2001

The People of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Shalon Nelson and Jessie Richardson, Defendants.

COUNSEL

Louis Pilato for Shalon Nelson, defendant.

Scott Garretson for Jessie Richardson, defendant.

Howard R. Relin, District Attorney of Monroe County, Rochester (Clifford Owens of counsel), for plaintiff.

OPINION

John J. Connell, J.

The defendants, claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful or

Page 363

improper acquisition of evidence, have moved to suppress statements made by them on March 15, 2001 to members of the Rochester Police Department on the ground that they were involuntarily made within the meaning of CPL 60.45. A confession or admission is admissible at trial in New York State only if its voluntariness is established by the People beyond a reasonable doubt (People v Yarter, 41 N.Y.2d 830, cert denied 433 U.S. 910; People v Valerius, 31 N.Y.2d 51). A pretrial suppression hearing was conducted before me on this issue on August 15, 2001.

Findings of Fact

On March 15, 2001 the police were investigating a " home invasion" allegation involving the above-named defendants. Both defendants were transported by the police to the Goodman section of the Rochester Police Department to be interviewed. At 2:49 A.M . Officer Bonafede and Investigator David Giudici of the Rochester Police Department took part in the interview of Jessie Richardson. Officer Bonafede read defendant Richardson his Miranda warnings verbatim from People's exhibit 2 which was received in evidence. The defendant understood his rights and agreed to speak with the officers about the incident. He provided them with an oral statement, after which he asked for the services of an attorney. The interview immediately ceased at that time. No threats or promises were made to the defendant Richardson to induce him to speak with the officers at that time.

At approximately 3:08 A.M . the same officers met with Shalon Nelson. Investigation Giudici read defendant Nelson his Miranda warnings verbatim from People's exhibit 1 which was received in evidence. Mr. Nelson immediately asserted his right to silence and his right to counsel. In spite of the defendant's response to the Miranda warnings, Investigator Giudici continued to question him, during which time incriminating statements were made by the defendant. To his credit, the investigator forthrightly testified that he continued the questioning based on police training he had received, which led him to believe that such statements would be allowed at trial for rebuttal should the defendant take the witness stand.

There was nothing to indicate that the defendant was threatened or coerced to make the statements given to Investigator Giudici.

Page 364

Conclusions ...


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