Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Womack

Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department

June 9, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
ANDREW B. WOMACK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          LEANNE LAPP, PUBLIC DEFENDER, CANANDAIGUA (GARY MULDOON OF COUNSEL), FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          ANDREW B. WOMACK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT PRO SE.

          R. MICHAEL TANTILLO, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, CANANDAIGUA (V. CHRISTOPHER EAGGLESTON OF COUNSEL), FOR RESPONDENT.

          PRESENT: WHALEN, P.J., SMITH, CARNI, CURRAN, AND SCUDDER, JJ.

         Appeal from a judgment of the Ontario County Court (William F. Kocher, J.), rendered June 25, 2014. The judgment convicted defendant, upon a jury verdict, of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

         It is hereby ORDERED that the judgment so appealed from is unanimously affirmed.

         Memorandum: Defendant appeals from a judgment convicting him, upon a jury verdict, of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree (Penal Law § 170.25), and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree (§ 175.35). Defendant failed to preserve for our review his contention in his main brief that he was penalized for exercising his right to a trial, "inasmuch as [he] failed to raise that contention at sentencing" (People v Stubinger, 87 A.D.3d 1316, 1317, lv denied 18 N.Y.3d 862; see People v Pope, 141 A.D.3d 1111, 1112, lv denied 29 N.Y.3d 951). In any event, that contention lacks merit. " Given that the quid pro quo of the bargaining process will almost necessarily involve offers to moderate sentences that ordinarily would be greater, it is also to be anticipated that sentences handed out after trial may be more severe than those proposed in connection with a plea' " (People v Martinez, 26 N.Y.3d 196, 200). Here, contrary to defendant's contention, "[t]here is no evidence that defendant was given the lengthier sentence solely as a punishment for exercising his right to a trial" (People v Aikey, 94 A.D.3d 1485, 1486, lv denied 19 N.Y.3d 956');">19 N.Y.3d 956 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Pope, 141 A.D.3d at 1112). We reject defendant's challenge in his main brief to the severity of the sentence.

         In his pro se supplemental brief, defendant contends that the evidence is legally insufficient to establish two elements of the criminal possession of a forged instrument count, i.e., that he acted with knowledge that the instrument was forged and "with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another" (Penal Law § 170.25; see People v Rodriguez, 17 N.Y.3d 486, 490). In his motion for a trial order of dismissal, defendant contended only that the evidence is legally insufficient to establish that he acted with the requisite knowledge, and he therefore failed to preserve for our review his contention with respect to the element of intent (see People v Gray, 86 N.Y.2d 10, 19). In any event, that contention lacks merit. It is well settled that intent may " be inferred from the defendant's conduct and the surrounding circumstances' " (People v Bracey, 41 N.Y.2d 296, 301, rearg denied 41 N.Y.2d 1010; see Rodriguez, 17 N.Y.3d at 489). Here, viewing the evidence, as we must, in the light most favorable to the People (see People v Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 621), we conclude that the evidence is legally sufficient with respect to the element of intent (see generally Rodriguez, 17 N.Y.3d at 489-491).

         Furthermore, with respect to defendant's challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence regarding the element of knowledge, it is well settled that "[g]uilty knowledge of forgery may be shown circumstantially by conduct and events" (People v Johnson, 65 N.Y.2d 556, 561, rearg denied 66 N.Y.2d 759). Here, we conclude that "the jury... had a sufficient evidentiary basis upon which to find defendant's knowledge of the forged character of the possessed instrument beyond a reasonable doubt" (id.; see People v Hold, 101 A.D.3d 1692, 1693, lv denied 21 N.Y.3d 1016). Thus, we conclude that the evidence is legally sufficient to support the conviction (see generally People v Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 490, 495). Furthermore, contrary to the contention of defendant in his pro se supplemental brief, viewing the evidence in light of the elements of the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree as charged to the jury (see People v Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 342, 349), we conclude that the verdict with respect to that count is not against the weight of the evidence (see generally Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d at 495).

         Defendant also failed to preserve for our review his contention in his pro se supplemental brief that he was deprived of a fair trial by prosecutorial misconduct on summation because he "failed to object to any of the remarks by the prosecutor during summation" (People v Simmons, 133 A.D.3d 1275, 1277, lv denied27 N.Y.3d 1006). In any event, defendant's contention lacks merit. The prosecutor did not improperly vouch for the credibility of a prosecution witness on summation, because "[a]n argument by counsel on summation, based on the record evidence and reasonable inferences drawn therefrom, that his or her witnesses have testified truthfully is not vouching for their credibility" (People v Keels, 128 A.D.3d 1444, 1446, lv denied26 N.Y.3d 969; see People v Bailey, 58 N.Y.2d 272, 277). Furthermore, the prosecutor's remarks were "a fair response" to defense ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.