People v. Gavins

Decision Date03 March 1986
Citation499 N.Y.S.2d 442,118 A.D.2d 582
PartiesThe PEOPLE, etc., Respondent, v. Elbert GAVINS, Appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Philip L. Weinstein, New York City (Barbara L. Hartung, of counsel), for appellant.

Elizabeth Holtzman, Dist. Atty., Brooklyn (Barbara D. Underwood, Karen M. Wigle and Linda Starr, of counsel), for respondent.

Before LAWRENCE, J.P., and EIBER, KUNZEMAN and KOOPER, JJ.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Golden, J.), rendered January 31, 1983, convicting him of robbery in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

Judgment affirmed.

The standard for reviewing the legal sufficiency of evidence in a criminal case is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt (see, People v. Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 467 N.Y.S.2d 349, 454 N.E.2d 932). In the instant case, a rational trier of fact could certainly have found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed robbery in the second degree.

Two police officers testified as to their observations of the defendant's participation in the crime. Neither officer expressed any confusion as to what he saw. Furthermore, the victim's testimony corresponds exactly to the officers' testimony. The complainant identified the defendant as one of his assailants within minutes of the crime, and, again, in the courtroom at the trial. The defendant's own testimony contained numerous inconsistencies.

It is well settled that " '[t]he resolution of questions relating to the credibility of witnesses is properly a function of the jury and may not be overturned lightly on appeal' " (People v. Gross, 111 A.D.2d 873, 491 N.Y.S.2d 20, quoting from People v. Rodriguez, 72 A.D.2d 571, 421 N.Y.S.2d 10). Under the circumstances, the jury's verdict is well supported by the evidence and should remain undisturbed.

Finally, the defendant did not preserve any legal issue as to the propriety of the prosecutor's cross-examination and summation (see, CPL 470.15[4]; People v. Galloway, 54 N.Y.2d 396, 446 N.Y.S.2d 9, 430 N.E.2d 885). In any event, none of the alleged improprieties deprived the defendant of a fair trial (see, People v. Roopchand, 65 N.Y.2d 837, 493 N.Y.S.2d 128, 482 N.E.2d 924). Both the prosecutor's cross-examination of the...

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11 cases
  • People v. Oquendo
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • October 13, 1987
    ...version of the events rendered by the complainant. Credibility is a matter to be resolved primarily by the jury (see, People v. Gavins, 118 A.D.2d 582, 499 N.Y.S.2d 442, lv. denied 67 N.Y.2d 1052, 504 N.Y.S.2d 1028, 495 N.E.2d 361), and there was nothing to prevent the jury from accepting t......
  • People v. Gibbs
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • October 1, 1990
    ...statements were not improper in the context of this case. The prosecutor's summation did not occur in a vacuum (see, People v. Gavins, 118 A.D.2d 582, 499 N.Y.S.2d 442) and it may only be fairly evaluated in comparison to the summations presented by the defense (see, People v. Blackman, 88 ......
  • People v. Rawlings
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 14, 1988
    ...1231; People v. Turner, 120 A.D.2d 629, 502 N.Y.S.2d 91, lv. denied 68 N.Y.2d 673, 505 N.Y.S.2d 1039, 496 N.E.2d 697; People v. Gavins, 118 A.D.2d 582, 499 N.Y.S.2d 442, lv. denied 67 N.Y.2d 1052, 504 N.Y.S.2d 1028, 495 N.E.2d 361; People v. Oakley, 114 A.D.2d 473, 494 N.Y.S.2d 383, lv. den......
  • People v. Green
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • February 6, 1989
    ...(see, People v. Rawlings, 144 A.D.2d 500, 533 N.Y.S.2d 1001; People v. Crawford, 130 A.D.2d 678, 515 N.Y.S.2d 604; People v. Gavins, 118 A.D.2d 582, 499 N.Y.S.2d 442, lv. denied 67 N.Y.2d 1052, 504 N.Y.S.2d 1028, 495 N.E.2d 361; People v. Suitte, 90 A.D.2d 80, 455 N.Y.S.2d ...
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