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People v. Spells

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE DIVISION SECOND JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT


October 20, 2009

THE PEOPLE, ETC., RESPONDENT,
v.
CHARLES SPELLS, APPELLANT.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Lott, J.), rendered June 1, 2005, convicting him of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

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.

REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., ANITA R. FLORIO, HOWARD MILLER and LEONARD B. AUSTIN, JJ.

(Ind. No. 2857/03)

DECISION & ORDER

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

The defendant's contention that the prosecution failed to disprove his justification defense by legally sufficient evidence is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPL 470.05[2]; People v Hawkins, 11 NY3d 484; People v Smiley, 303 AD2d 425; People v Nery, 243 AD2d 585; People v Reeder, 209 AD2d 551). In any event, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution (see People v Contes, 60 NY2d 620, 621), we find that it was legally sufficient to disprove the defendant's justification defense beyond a reasonable doubt (see Penal Law § 35.15; People v Dominguez, 226 AD2d 391; People v Reeder, 209 AD2d 551; People v Torres, 182 AD2d 788).

In fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see CPL 470.15[5]; People v Danielson, 9 NY3d 342), we nevertheless accord great deference to the jury's opportunity to view the witnesses, hear the testimony, and observe demeanor (see People v Mateo, 2 NY3d 383, 410, cert denied 542 US 946; People v Bleakley, 69 NY2d 490, 495). Upon reviewing the record here, we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v Romero, 7 NY3d 633).

RIVERA, J.P., FLORIO, MILLER and AUSTIN, JJ., concur.

20091020

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