People v. Louime

Citation209 A.D.3d 1038,177 N.Y.S.3d 335
Decision Date26 October 2022
Docket Number2017–08697,Ind. No. 1637/14
Parties The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. David LOUIME, appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division

209 A.D.3d 1038
177 N.Y.S.3d 335

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent,
David LOUIME, appellant.

No. 1637/14

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

Argued—October 3, 2022
October 26, 2022

177 N.Y.S.3d 336

Patricia Pazner, New York, NY (David P. Greenberg of counsel), for appellant, and appellant pro se.

Melinda Katz, District Attorney, Kew Gardens, NY (Johnnette Traill, Sharon Y. Brodt, Merri Turk Lasky, and Danielle M. O'Boyle of counsel), for respondent.


177 N.Y.S.3d 337


209 A.D.3d 1038

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Gregory Lasak, J.), rendered July 18, 2017, convicting him of murder in the second degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence. The appeal brings up for review the denial, after a hearing, of that branch of the defendant's omnibus motion which was to suppress identification testimony.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

The defendant's contention that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his conviction of murder in the second degree because the prosecution failed to prove the element of homicidal intent beyond a reasonable doubt is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPL 470.05[2] ; People v. Hawkins, 11 N.Y.3d 484, 492, 872 N.Y.S.2d 395, 900 N.E.2d 946 ). In any event, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution (see People v. Contes, 60 N.Y.2d 620, 621, 467 N.Y.S.2d 349, 454 N.E.2d 932 ), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish the defendant's homicidal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence at trial showed that the defendant accompanied a man known as Q to a bar, and that, at some point, Q accosted the victim. During a subsequent confrontation between Q and the victim, Q punched the victim in the head, which apparently rendered the victim unconscious. A melee immediately ensued, during the course of which the defendant threw punches at a man grappling with Q and struck another bar patron in the face. The defendant then targeted the seemingly unconscious victim by punching, kicking, and stomping him in the head several times. The jury could rationally infer

209 A.D.3d 1039

the defendant's homicidal intent from this conduct (see People v. Martinez–Jiminez, 178 A.D.3d 538, 539, 115 N.Y.S.3d 275 ). In addition, the jury could rationally infer from the evidence that the defendant and Q shared "a community of purpose" sufficient to impose accomplice liability on the defendant for Q's act of punching the victim in the head ( People v. Pietrocarlo, 37 N.Y.3d 1142, 1143, 159 N.Y.S.3d 389, 180 N.E.3d 553 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see People v. Hooks, 148 A.D.3d 930, 931, 49 N.Y.S.3d 499 ). The defendant's contention, in effect, that the People were required to prove that Q shared in the defendant's homicidal intent in order to support the defendant's own accomplice liability is without merit, as the defendant may be charged with whatever higher degree of crime is "compatible with his own culpable mental state and with his own accountability for an aggravating fact or circumstance" ( Penal Law § 20.15 ; see generally People v. Castro, 55 N.Y.2d 972, 973, 449 N.Y.S.2d 184, 434 N.E.2d 253 ; Maiorino v. Scully, 746 F. Supp. 331, 337 [S.D.N.Y.] ).

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, 348–349, 849 N.Y.S.2d 480, 880 N.E.2d 1 ), 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, 779 N.Y.S.2d 399, 811 N.E.2d 1053 ; People v. Bleakley, 69 N.Y.2d 490, 495, 515 N.Y.S.2d 761, 508 N.E.2d 672 ). Upon reviewing the record here, we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence (see

177 N.Y.S.3d 338

People v. Romero, 7 N.Y.3d 633, 644, 826 N.Y.S.2d 163, 859 N.E.2d 902 ).

Contrary to the defendant's contention, his request to be seated in the gallery during the testimony of those witnesses from whom the People would attempt to elicit an in-court identification (see United States v. Archibald, 734 F.2d 938 [2d Cir.] ), was not denied under circumstances suggesting that the Supreme Court erroneously "perceived that it had no discretion" to grant the application ( People v. Cronin, 60 N.Y.2d 430, 433, 470...

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4 cases
  • People v. Zephir
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • January 18, 2023 deprive the defendant of a fair trial (see People v. Galloway, 54 N.Y.2d 396, 401, 446 N.Y.S.2d 9, 430 N.E.2d 885 ; People v. Louime, 209 A.D.3d 1038, 1040, 177 N.Y.S.3d 335 ), and any other error in this regard was harmless as there was overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt and......
  • People v. Zephir
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • January 18, 2023
    ...caption was not so egregious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial (see People v Galloway, 54 N.Y.2d 396, 401; People v Louime, 209 A.D.3d 1038, 1040), and any other error in this regard was harmless as there was overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt and no significant probab......
  • People v. Joseph
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • October 26, 2022
    ...753, 167 N.Y.S.3d 821 ; People v. Wilson, 163 A.D.3d 881, 882, 81 N.Y.S.3d 163 ; People v. Pocesta, 71 A.D.3d 920, 895 N.Y.S.2d 871 ). 209 A.D.3d 1038 Insofar as the prosecutor's statements were improper, they were not so flagrant or pervasive as to have deprived the defendant of a fair tri......
  • People v. Louime
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • January 13, 2023
    ...Opinion MOTION DECISION Troutman, J. Disposition: Applications for Criminal Leave to appeal denied Decision Reported Below: 2d Dept: 209 A.D.3d 1038 ...

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