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People v. Melendez

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

September 26, 2013

The People of the State of New York, Respondent,
v.
Luis Melendez, Defendant-Appellant.

Steven Banks, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Lorraine Maddalo of counsel), for appellant.

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

Gonzalez, P.J., Mazzarelli, Acosta, Renwick, JJ.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Thomas Farber, J.), rendered December 7, 2010, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree, perjury in the first degree, attempted bribery in the third degree and falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, and sentencing him, as a second violent felony offender, to an aggregate term of 12½ years, unanimously affirmed.

The verdict was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 342, 348—349 [2007]). There is no basis for disturbing the jury's credibility determinations.

The evidence established the physical injury element of second-degree robbery (see Penal Law § 10.00[9]; § 160.10[2][a]). The victim's testimony, along with medical records, amply supported the conclusion that her injuries resulted in substantial pain. While the degree of pain may have increased and then diminished over a period of time, it is clear that it was "more than slight or trivial" (People v Chiddick, 8 N.Y.3d 445, 447 [2007]; see also People v Guidice, 83 N.Y.2d 630, 636 [1994]).

The perjury charge (see Penal Law §§ 210.00[3], [5]; 210.15) was established by evidence that defendant falsely testified before the grand jury about the circumstances of his arrest for the robbery. The false testimony was material to the grand jury proceeding, particularly with regard to the issue of whether defendant was correctly identified as the perpetrator.


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