People v. Sidibe, 2021-04281

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New York)
PartiesThe People of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Hamza Sidibe, Defendant-Appellant. Appeal No. 14183 Case No. 2018-1648
Docket Number2021-04281,Ind 3487/13
Decision Date08 July 2021

The People of the State of New York, Respondent,

Hamza Sidibe, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal No. 14183 Case No. 2018-1648

No. 2021-04281

Ind No. 3487/13

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

July 8, 2021

Caprice R. Jenerson, Office of the Appellate Defender, New York (Joseph M. Nursey of counsel), for appellant.

Darcel D. Clark, District Attorney, Bronx (Diana J. Lewis of counsel), for respondent.

Before: Manzanet-Daniels, J.P., Webber, Singh, Kennedy, JJ.

Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx County (John W. Carter, J.), rendered June 28, 2016, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of assault in the first and second degrees, and sentencing him to an aggregate term of 12 years, unanimously affirmed.

The verdict was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v Danielson, 9 N.Y.3d 342 [2007]). Moreover, we find that it was based on overwhelming evidence. The victim's extensive injuries fully corroborated his account of the incident, and the injuries were completely incompatible with defendant's unbelievable testimony.

We agree with defendant that the court's instructions were insufficient to convey the "stop deliberations" principle discussed in People v Velez (131 A.D.3d 129 [1st Dept 2015]; see People v Hop Wah, 171 A.D.3d 574 [1st Dept 2019]). However, our review of the record persuades us that there is no reasonable possibility that the jury acquitted defendant of attempted murder, and an assault count requiring intent to disfigure, based on a finding that defendant's conduct was justified. Under these circumstances, we decline to exercise our interest of justice jurisdiction to review defendant's unpreserved Velez claim (see e.g. People v Macon, 186 A.D.3d 430, 431 [1st Dept 2020], lv denied 35 N.Y.3d 1114 [2020]; see also People v Petty, 7 N.Y.3d 277, 286 [2006]). Defendant's other unpreserved claim regarding the court's charge involves an omission of the word "not." Even if the transcript is accurate, this error could not have caused defendant any prejudice in its context.

Defendant did not preserve his challenges to the qualifications of an interpreter who translated portions of a recorded phone call between defendant and his girlfriend, or to the interpreter's mode of translation, and we decline to review them in the interest of justice. As an alternative holding, we find that any error was harmless in light of the overwhelming evidence of guilt and the insignificance of the brief portions of the call...

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