People v. Dennis

Citation192 A.D.3d 1137,145 N.Y.S.3d 111
Decision Date31 March 2021
Docket Number2018–04246,Ind. No. 48/17
Parties The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Ricky DENNIS, appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division

192 A.D.3d 1137
145 N.Y.S.3d 111

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent,
v.
Ricky DENNIS, appellant.

2018–04246
Ind.
No. 48/17

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Argued—March 2, 2021
March 31, 2021


145 N.Y.S.3d 112

Paul Skip Laisure, New York, N.Y. (De Nice Powell of counsel), for appellant.

Michael E. McMahon, District Attorney, Staten Island, N.Y. (Morrie I. Kleinbart and Alexander Fumelli of counsel), for respondent.

MARK C. DILLON, J.P., SYLVIA O. HINDS–RADIX, COLLEEN D. DUFFY, ANGELA G. IANNACCI, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Richmond County (William E. Garnett, J.), rendered March 28, 2018, convicting him of murder in the first degree (two counts) and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, on the law, and a new trial is ordered.

145 N.Y.S.3d 113

Contrary to the defendant's contention, defense counsel was not ineffective because he failed to controvert a warrant to search the defendant's vehicle or to otherwise seek suppression of the vehicle's contents (see Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 ). Taking into consideration the totality of the evidence, the law, and the circumstances of the case, it is evident that defense counsel provided meaningful representation (see People v. Benevento, 91 N.Y.2d 708, 714, 674 N.Y.S.2d 629, 697 N.E.2d 584 ). The defendant failed to demonstrate the lack of a strategic or other legitimate explanation for defense counsel's decision to forgo controverting the search warrant or to otherwise seek suppression of the contents of the vehicle (see People v. Ramirez, 146 A.D.3d 987, 988, 45 N.Y.S.3d 568 ). Moreover, "[c]ounsel's failure to ... challenge the search warrant can be explained as a legitimate trial strategy because the application for the warrant was supported by probable cause" ( People v. Smith, 163 A.D.3d 1005, 1005, 82 N.Y.S.3d 453 ).

However, a new trial is required based upon the Supreme Court's failure to comply with CPL 310.30 in accordance with the procedures set forth in People v. O'Rama, 78 N.Y.2d 270, 574 N.Y.S.2d 159, 579 N.E.2d 189. CPL 310.30 imposes two responsibilities on trial courts upon receipt of a substantive note from a deliberating jury: "the court must provide counsel with meaningful notice of the content of the note, and the court must provide a meaningful response to the jury" ( People v. Thomas, 146 A.D.3d 991, 993, 46 N.Y.S.3d 130 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see People v. O'Rama, 78 N.Y.2d at 276, 574 N.Y.S.2d 159, 579 N.E.2d 189 ; People v. Stocks, 101 A.D.3d 1049, 1050, 957 N.Y.S.2d 356 ). Meaningful notice means notice of the actual specific content of the jurors' request (see People v. Parker, 32 N.Y.3d 49, 59, 84 N.Y.S.3d 838, 109 N.E.3d 1138 ; People v. Mack, 27 N.Y.3d 534, 538, 36 N.Y.S.3d 68, 55 N.E.3d 1041 ), and requires that a court "read a jury note ‘verbatim’ so that the parties have ‘the opportunity to accurately analyze the jury's deliberations and frame intelligent suggestions for the court's response’ " ( People v. Silva, 24 N.Y.3d 294, 299, 998 N.Y.S.2d 154, 22 N.E.3d 1022, quoting People v. Kisoon, 8 N.Y.3d 129, 135, 831 N.Y.S.2d 738, 863 N.E.2d 990 ; see People v. Kluge, 180 A.D.3d 705, 711, 116 N.Y.S.3d 363 ; People v. Copeland, 175 A.D.3d 1316, 1317, 109 N.Y.S.3d 94 ). Where a trial court "paraphrases a jury note or omits a key term, thereby failing to provide counsel with ... notice of the precise content of a substantive juror inquiry, a mode of proceedings error occurs, and reversal is therefore required even in the absence of an objection" ( People v. Nealon, 26 N.Y.3d 152, 157, 20 N.Y.S.3d 315, 41 N.E.3d 1130 ; see People v. Alcide, 21 N.Y.3d 687,...

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5 cases
  • People v. Edwards
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 3 Agosto 2022
    ...at 156, 20 N.Y.S.3d 315, 41 N.E.3d 1130 ); counsel must be informed of the "verbatim" contents of the jury's inquiry ( People v. Dennis, 192 A.D.3d 1137, 1138, 145 N.Y.S.3d 111 ). A failure in this regard amounts to a mode of proceedings error that requires reversal of a conviction regardle......
  • People v. King
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 31 Marzo 2021
    ...admitting the statement into evidence and allowing the People to use it, pursuant to People v. Molineux, 168 N.Y. 264, 61 N.E. 286, to 145 N.Y.S.3d 111 show intent, motive, or lack of mistake. As the only charge before the jury was statutory rape, the defendant's intent, motive, or lack of ......
  • People v. Edwards
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 3 Agosto 2022
    ...O'Rama (People v Nealon, 26 N.Y.3d at 156); counsel must be informed of the "verbatim" contents of the jury's inquiry (People v Dennis, 192 A.D.3d 1137, 1138). A failure in this regard amounts to a mode of proceedings error that requires reversal of a conviction regardless of whether there ......
  • People v. Dennis
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • 25 Junio 2021
    ...Opinion MOTION DECISION FAHEY, JUDGE Disposition: Applications for Criminal Leave to appeal denied Decision Reported Below: 2d Dept: 192 A.D.3d 1137 (Richmond) ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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