Calendar Date: June 7, 2017
Randolph V. Kruman, Cortland, for appellant.
Stephen K. Cornwell Jr., District Attorney, Binghamton
(Stephen Ferri of counsel), for respondent.
Before: Peters, P.J., Rose, Mulvey, Aarons and Pritzker, JJ.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
from a judgment of the County Court of Tioga County (Keene,
J.), rendered October 27, 2015, convicting defendant upon his
plea of guilty of the crime of attempted robbery in the
was charged by indictment with the crimes of robbery in the
second degree, assault in the second degree and grand larceny
in the fourth degree stemming from allegations that he stole
the victim's purse while she was walking in the Village
of Owego, Tioga County. Defendant moved, among other things,
to suppress his signed, written statement to police.
Following a Huntley hearing, County Court found that
defendant had been read and voluntarily waived his
Miranda rights prior to giving his statement, and
the court therefore denied his motion to suppress
Defendant subsequently pleaded guilty to attempted robbery in
the second degree, and County Court sentenced him as a second
felony offender to five years in prison followed by five
years of postrelease supervision. Defendant now appeals.
affirm. Defendant's sole contention on appeal is that
County Court erred when it determined that his written
statement to police was preceded by a voluntary waiver of
Miranda warnings and was legally obtained. On
defendant's motion, the People had the burden of proving
beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant's statement to
police was voluntarily given, "including that any
custodial interrogation was preceded by the administration
and defendant's knowing waiver of his Miranda
rights" (People v Nadal, 131 A.D.3d 729, 730
 [internal quotation marks and citations omitted],
lv denied 26 N.Y.3d 1041');">26 N.Y.3d 1041 ). "Determining
whether a statement is voluntary is a factual issue governed
by the totality of the circumstances and the credibility
assessments of the suppression court in making that
determination are entitled to deference" (People v
Mattis, 108 A.D.3d 872, 874  [internal quotation
marks, brackets and citations omitted], lvs denied
22 N.Y.3d 957');">22 N.Y.3d 957 ). "If the People meet their burden,
the defendant then bears the burden of persuasion"
(People v Newell, 148 A.D.3d 1216, 1218 
[internal quotation marks and citations omitted], lv
denied 29 N.Y.3d 1035');">29 N.Y.3d 1035 ).
Huntley hearing, the Village of Owego police officer
who conducted the interrogation testified about the events of
the night in question, including the circumstance under which
defendant waived his rights and signed the written statement.
According to the officer, defendant was arrested and in
custody prior to being transported to the police department.
The officer testified that, before he questioned defendant
and composed the written statement for defendant to sign, he
read defendant his rights from the police department's
Miranda warnings form. To the left of each warning
on that form is a space for the suspect to initial that he or
she received and understood each respective warning. The
officer recounted that he read each warning to defendant, who
then placed his initials in the spaces provided and signed
the bottom of the form, acknowledging that he understood his
rights and agreed to answer questions without an attorney
present. The officer questioned defendant regarding the
events that evening and composed a written statement that
detailed defendant's account of his participation in the
robbery, which defendant then signed. The officer testified
that no threats or promises were made to defendant to induce
him into signing the waiver and statement. On
cross-examination, defendant pointed out apparent
discrepancies in the time line to which the officer testified
and sought to undermine his credibility with regard to his
past employment in law enforcement. Defendant did not testify
or call other witnesses.
Court credited the officer's testimony and, according due
deference to that determination and given the totality of the
circumstances, we find that defendant was advised as to, and
validly waived, his constitutional rights (see People v
Nadal, 131 A.D.3d at 730). The record does not indicate
that the officer's testimony was "patently tailored
to avoid any constitutional objections" (People v
Keith, 240 A.D.2d 967, 968 , lvs denied
90 N.Y.2d 906, 912 ). Accordingly, the motion to
suppress defendant's statement was properly denied.
Peters, P.J., Rose, Aarons and ...