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People v. Williams

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


May 12, 2009

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
JASON WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Barbara F. Newman, J.), rendered April 18, 2007, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and unlawful possession of marihuana, and sentencing him, as a second felony offender, to an aggregate term of 6 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.

Andrias, J.P., Friedman, Buckley, Acosta, DeGrasse, JJ.

675/06

The record supports the court's denial (15 Misc 3d 1102[A]), of defendant's application to introduce the grand jury testimony of an unavailable declarant as a declaration against penal interest. The reliability prong for introduction of such a declaration (see People v Settles, 46 NY2d 154, 167-170 [1978]) was not met. The court properly concluded that any reliability this grand jury testimony may have had was completely undermined by the declarant's conviction of perjury arising out of that same testimony. Even though the declarant pleaded guilty to one of several counts of perjury, the circumstances support the conclusion that his entire testimony failed the reliability test for admission, and we have considered and rejected defendant's arguments to the contrary. Accordingly, there was no violation of defendant's constitutional right to present a defense (see Chambers v Mississippi, 410 US 284 [1973]; People v Robinson, 89 NY2d 648, 654 [1997]; People v Burns, 18 AD3d 397 [2005], affd 6 NY3d 793 [2006]).

We perceive no basis for reducing the sentence.

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

20090512

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