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People v. Wright

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

October 9, 2013

The People of the State of New York, respondent,
v.
Earl Wright, appellant. Ind. No. 1427/08

Lynn W. L. Fahey, New York, N.Y. (Paul Skip Laisure and William A. Loeb of counsel), for appellant, and appellant pro se.

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

WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P., THOMAS A. DICKERSON, CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, SHERI S. ROMAN, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Aloise, J.), rendered June 21, 2010, convicting him of rape in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, and sexual abuse in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

The defendant's contention that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his convictions of robbery in the first degree and burglary in the first degree is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPL 470.05[2]; People v Hawkins, 11 N.Y.3d 484, 492). In any event, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution (see People v Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt of those crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, in fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see CPL 470.15[5]; People v Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 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 N.Y.3d 383, 410, cert denied 542 U.S. 946; People v Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 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 N.Y.3d 633).

The defendant's contention that he was deprived of a fair trial by certain remarks made by the prosecutor during the opening statement and on summation is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPL 470.05[2]; People v Wright, 90 A.D.3d 679). In any event, the challenged remarks were fair comment on the evidence, were permissible rhetorical comment, constituted a fair response to defense counsel's summation, or otherwise do not warrant reversal (see People v Galloway, 54 N.Y.2d 396, 401; People v Morency, 104 A.D.3d 877, 878; People v Hernandez, 92 A.D.3d 802, 803; People v Valerio, 70 A.D.3d 869, 869-870).

The sentence imposed was not excessive (see People v Suitte, 90 A.D.2d 80).

The defendant's remaining contentions, including those raised in his pro se supplemental brief, are either unpreserved for appellate review and, in any event, without merit, or based on matter dehors the record.

MASTRO, J.P., DICKERSON, CHAMBERS and ROMAN, JJ., concur.


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