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People v. Cheeks

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

June 26, 2013

The People of the State of New York, respondent,
v.
Kevin Cheeks, appellant. (Ind. No. 400/10)

Lynn W. L. Fahey, New York, N.Y. (Allegra Glashausser of counsel), for appellant, and appellant pro se.

Richard A. Brown, District Attorney, Kew Gardens, N.Y. (John M. Castellano, Sharon Y. Brodt, and John F. McGoldrick of counsel), for respondent.

MARK C. DILLON, J.P., CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, LEONARD B. AUSTIN, SYLVIA HINDS-RADIX, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Lasak, J.), rendered March 23, 2011, convicting him of robbery in the first degree (three counts), upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

Contrary to the defendant's contention, the Supreme Court properly denied the defendant's application, made on the eve of trial, to substitute counsel. "The right of an indigent criminal defendant to the services of a court-appointed lawyer does not encompass a right to appointment of successive lawyers at defendant's option" (People v Sides, 75 N.Y.2d 822, 824). Counsel may be substituted at the trial court's discretion where good cause is shown (see People v Porto, 16 N.Y.3d 93, 99-100; People v Burkett, 98 A.D.3d 746, 747). Here, the defendant failed to establish good cause for the substitution of his counsel, as the defendant's dissatisfaction with counsel was due to disagreements over trial strategy (see People v Johnson, 103 A.D.3d 1251; People v Martin, 41 A.D.3d 616, 617; People v Walton, 14 A.D.3d 419, 420; People v Welch, 2 A.D.3d 1354, 1355; People v Jones, 302 A.D.2d 476, 477, affd 2 N.Y.3d 235). Further inquiry was not required, as the defendant's assertions did not suggest the serious possibility of irreconcilable differences or other impediment to the defendant's representation by assigned counsel (see People v Ayuso, 80 A.D.3d 708, 709).

The record does not support the defendant's claim that he was deprived of his right to the effective assistance of counsel. Viewing the evidence, the law, and the circumstances of this case, we conclude that the defendant received meaningful representation (see People v Baldi, 54 N.Y.2d 137, 147; Strickland v Washington, 466 U.S. 668).

The defendant's constitutional challenge to the persistent violent felony offender statute is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPL 470.05[2]), and, in any event, is without merit (see People v Leon, 10 N.Y.3d 122, 126, cert denied 554 U.S. 926; People v Edwards, 82 A.D.3d 1005, 1006; People v Ayuso, 80 A.D.3d at 709).

The defendant's remaining contention is unpreserved for appellate review and, in any event, without merit.

DILLON, J.P., CHAMBERS, AUSTIN and HINDS-RADIX, JJ., concur.


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