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People v. Thomas

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

June 25, 2013

The People of the State of New York, Respondent,
v.
George Thomas, Defendant-Appellant.

Robert S. Dean, Center for Appellate Litigation, New York (Nicolas Schumann-Ortega of counsel), for appellant.

Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York (Sylvia Wertheimer of counsel), for respondent.

Andrias, J.P., Friedman, Sweeny, Saxe, Richter, JJ.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Rena K. Uviller, J.), rendered May 11, 2011, convicting defendant, upon his plea of guilty, of attempted robbery in the second degree, and sentencing him, as a second violent felony offender, to a term of five years, unanimously affirmed.

Defendant's challenge to the voluntariness of his plea is unpreserved (see People v Lopez, 71 N.Y.2d 662, 666 [1988]), and we decline to review it in the interest of justice. As an alternative holding, we reject it on the merits. There was nothing before the plea court to warrant an inquiry into defendant's mental condition, or into whether he affirmatively waived an insanity defense. Shortly before he pleaded guilty, defendant had been found competent by two psychiatrists pursuant to CPL article 730, and defense counsel had declined to controvert the finding of competency. During the plea allocution, defendant answered questions coherently, and nothing he said cast doubt on the voluntariness of the plea or suggested that he had any psychiatric or other defenses (see People v Diallo, 88 A.D.3d 511 [1st Dept 2011], lv denied 18 N.Y.3d 882 [2012]).


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