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People v. Zhao

Supreme Court, Queens County

February 15, 2012

The People of the State of New York
v.
Chang Rong Zhao

The defendant is represented by the Office of Steven Banks, Esq. by Brian J. Coakley, Esq.

The People are represented by Assistant District Attorney Scott Kessler of the Queens District Attorney's Office.

Stephen A. Knopf, J.

The People have filed a motion and supplemental motion with this Court seeking an order of this Court granting the People permission to be present at the defendant's CPL 730 examination. In the alternative, the People request that said examination be videotaped. The defendant opposes this application in its entirety.

FINDING OF FACT

This indictment arose out of an incident that allegedly took place on February 15, 2011, at approximately 8:00 a.m., in the vicinity of Main Street and Maple Avenue, in Flushing, Queens. On that date, the defendant allegedly punched the complainant, his ex-girlfriend, and repeatedly stabbed her with a knife. He then fled the scene.

The defendant was arrested two days later. He was subsequently indicted for attempted murder in the second degree and related charges.

This matter was sent to this Court for jury trial. Immediately prior to jury selection, the attorney for the defendant requested a CPL 730 examination of this defendant, to be conducted prior to the commencement of the defendant's trial. The Court granted the defendant's attorney's application. At this point, the People requested permission to be present at the examination, or in the alternative, an order of this Court to have this examination videotaped.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

Article 730 of the Criminal Procedure Law mandates under what conditions a defendant is fit to proceed to trial. In relevant part, CPL 730.30 (1) provides:

At any time after a defendant is arraigned upon an accusatory instrument other than a felony complaint and before the imposition of sentence, ... the court wherein the criminal action is pending must issue an order of examination when it is of the opinion that the defendant may be an incapacitated person.

CPL 730.10 (1) defines an incapacitated person as follows:

"Incapacitated person" means a defendant who as a result of mental disease or defect lacks capacity to understand the proceedings against ...

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