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People v. Stewart

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


December 11, 2008

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN STEWART, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Arlene R. Silverman, J.), rendered February 16, 2006, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree, and sentencing him to a term of 5 years, unanimously affirmed.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Friedman, J.P., McGuire, Acosta, DeGrasse, Freedman, JJ.

No. 2994/05

The verdict was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v Danielson, 9 NY3d 342, 348-349 [2007]). There is no basis for disturbing the jury's determinations concerning credibility, including its rejection of defendant's testimony, in which he claimed he acted in self-defense and did not take any property. The prosecution's evidence established that after the elderly victim slightly moved a jacket lying on a bench in order to sit down, defendant approached, claimed the jacket was his, hit the victim with enough force to knock him unconscious, and immediately took the victim's watch and wallet. This evidence supports the conclusion that defendant's intent was to use force "for the purpose of" taking property (see Penal Law § 160.00; People v Smith, 79 NY2d 309, 315 [1992]), and that the theft was not an afterthought to using force in anger over the disturbance of the jacket. Even if defendant's observation of the victim touching the jacket may have led defendant to target this particular victim, that would not undermine the inference that defendant hit the victim for the purpose of taking property.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

20081211

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