People v. Reyes

Decision Date29 June 1981
Citation82 A.D.2d 925,440 N.Y.S.2d 674
PartiesThe PEOPLE, etc., Respondent, v. Julius REYES, a/k/a J. D. Ray, Appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

William E. Hellerstein, New York City (Henry Winestine, New York City, of counsel), for appellant.

Eugene Gold, Dist. Atty., Brooklyn (Peter Weinstein, Asst. Dist. Atty., Brooklyn, of counsel), for respondent.

Before TITONE, J. P., and RABIN, MARGETT and WEINSTEIN, JJ.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Appeal by defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County, rendered January 2, 1979, convicting him of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

Judgment reversed, on the law, indictment dismissed, and case remitted to the Supreme Court, Kings County, for the purpose of entering an order in its discretion pursuant to CPL 160.50.

According to the People's proof at trial, defendant stood by as the bodyguard of the seller, in the seller's apartment, during the transaction which is the predicate for the crime underlying defendant's conviction. In order that the finding of guilt may be sustained, it must appear that the jurors could properly draw an inference from the evidence presented that the defendant acted with the mental culpability necessary to commit the crime charged and that in furtherance thereof he solicited, requested, commanded, importuned or intentionally aided the seller to commit such crime (see Penal Law, § 20.00). No such inference may be fairly drawn. The few words uttered by defendant during the commission of the crime were those of a bystander and not of an interested party. They clearly did not evidence his intent to commit the crime. Absent those several utterances, all that remains is the defendant's armed presence in the seller's apartment. Though defendant may have been in violation of some other section of the Penal Law by reason of his possession of weapons, the inference that he was also violating the provision prohibiting sales of controlled substances is not supported by the evidence. Mere presence at the scene of a crime with knowledge of its perpetration does not render the observer accessorially liable therefor (see People v. La Belle, 18 N.Y.2d 405, 412, 276 N.Y.S.2d 105, 222 N.E.2d 727). Accordingly, the judgment of conviction must be reversed and the indictment dismissed.

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26 cases
  • Quartararo v. Hanslmaier
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 30 Noviembre 1998
    ......Petitioner appealed his conviction to the Appellate Division, Second Department, which affirmed the conviction, People v. Quartararo, 113 A.D.2d 845, 493 N.Y.S.2d 511 (2d Dep't 1985). Leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals was denied. People v. Quartararo, ...Reyes, 18 F.3d 65, 70 (2d Cir.1994). .         In other words, testimony that permissibly is offered to provide the jury with needed explanation ......
  • People v. Telesford
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 15 Marzo 2017
    ...to commit such crime (see Penal Law § 20.00 ; People v. Karchefski, 102 A.D.2d 856, 476 N.Y.S.2d 916 [2d Dept.1984] ; People v. Reyes, 82 A.D.2d 925, 440 N.Y.S.2d 674 [2d Dept.1981] ). Thus, in this case, an inference that Telesford helped Celestine commit the robbery, based on his role as ......
  • People v. Cable
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 10 Noviembre 1983
    ...... In our view the evidence was sufficient to justify the jury's finding that her complicity was that of an accessory,[96 A.D.2d 256] rather than, as she contends, of a mere bystander with guilty knowledge (see People v. Reyes, 82 A.D.2d 925, 926, 440 N.Y.S.2d 674; Matter of Victor M., 68 A.D.2d 837, 414 N.Y.S.2d 519.) A person is criminally liable for an offense when, acting with the requisite mental culpability, he intentionally aids another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offense. (Penal Law § ......
  • People v. Hill
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 16 Diciembre 1993
    .......         While mere presence at the scene of a crime with knowledge of its perpetration does not render the observer accessorily liable (see, People v. Reyes, 82 A.D.2d 925, 440 N.Y.S.2d 674; and see, People v. La Belle, 18 N.Y.2d 405, 276 N.Y.S.2d 105, 222 N.E.2d 727; People v. Karchefski, 102 A.D.2d 856, 476 N.Y.S.2d 916), the defendant's actions, under the totality of the circumstances, were clearly designed to effectuate the commission of the ......
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