People v. Williams, Docket No. CR-3977-20

CourtNew York City Court
Writing for the CourtLyndon D. Williams, J.
Citation152 N.Y.S.3d 791 (Table),73 Misc.3d 1205 (A)
Parties The PEOPLE of the State of New York, v. Norell WILLIAMS, Defendant.
Decision Date30 September 2021
Docket NumberDocket No. CR-3977-20

73 Misc.3d 1205 (A)
152 N.Y.S.3d 791 (Table)

The PEOPLE of the State of New York,
Norell WILLIAMS, Defendant.

Docket No. CR-3977-20

City Court, New York, Mount Vernon.

Decided on September 30, 2021

Westchester County District Attorney, Mount Vernon branch, Daniel Harnick, Esq., The Legal Aid Society, Attorney for Defendant, 150 Grand Street, White Plains, New York 10601

Lyndon D. Williams, J.

The defendant is charged by superseding misdemeanor information with five counts of Assault in the Third Degree (PL § 120.00(1)), one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (PL § 265.01(2)), one count of Menacing in the Second Degree (PL § 120.14), one count of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation (PL § 121.11(a)), and five counts of Harassment in the Second Degree (PL § 240.26(1)).

Defendant moves to dismiss the accusatory instrument pursuant to CPL § 30.30 on speedy trial grounds. Defendant contends in his motion papers that the People had six months to be ready for trial, however, the People took 277 days to file the superseding accusatory instrument and state their readiness for trial. The initial felony complaint was filed on September 11, 2020, however, a felony hearing was never held, defendant was never indicted and the People did not file the superseding misdemeanor information and announce their readiness in this matter until July 8, 2021. Specifically, defendant asserts that the period of time from November 23, 2020 until the People filed the superseding information on July 8, 2021 is chargeable to the People. Defendant contends that the People did not cite to any unusual circumstances for the delay in prosecuting the instant matter nor did they cite to any inability to proceed to the grand jury due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Defendant further notes that from November 2019 to the present the People have maintained and utilized a fully functional grand jury system and have presented hundreds of felonies during that period of time. Moreover, defendant asserts that on two adjourn dates in April 2021 the People indicated on the record that they would be presenting the case "directly" to the grand jury and indict the matter. Defendant further contends that the time should be chargeable to the People despite any "Executive Order" since the suspension of CPL § 30.30 pursuant to Executive Order 202.87 was not reasonably related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Westchester County. It is the defendant's position that the People have violated defendant's speedy trial rights.

In opposition, the People acknowledge that since the defendant was initially charged with a felony they were required to be ready within six months of defendant's arraignment on the felony complaint, which is 181 days in the instant matter. The People further contend that defendant was arraigned on the felony complaint on September 11, 2020 after which defendant requested an adjournment until October 21, 2020, waiving his rights under CPL §§ 30.30 and 180.80. Similarly, on October 21, 2020 the defendant again requested an adjournment until November 23, 2020, waiving his rights under CPL §§ 30.30 and 180.80. Accordingly, the People assert, the period of time from September 11, 2020 through November 23, 2020, a total of 73 days, is excludable. The People acknowledge that on November 23, 2020 they were not ready and requested an adjournment to December 22, 2020 and concede that the 29 days between adjourn dates is chargeable. The People further acknowledge that on December 22, 2020 they were once again not ready and requested an adjournment to January 28, 2021. The People contend, however, that only the period of time from December 22, 2020 until December 30, 2020, a total of 9 days, is chargeable since on December 30, 2020, Executive Order 202.87 tolled CPL § 30.30 for unindicted felonies for the period of time in which the criminal action is proceeding upon a felony complaint through arraignment on the indictment or on a superior court information. Said directive was extended by subsequent Executive Orders, until Executive Order 202.106 which rescinded the suspensions and modifications of CPL §§ 30.30 and 180.80 effective after May 23, 2021. As such, the People contend, all of the time from December 30, 2020 through May 23, 2021 cannot be charged to the People. The People concede, however, that the time from May 23, 2021 through July 8, 2021, a total of 46 days, is chargeable to them. Accordingly, the People assert, only 84 days of time can be charged to the People and therefore, they are well within the statutory speedy trial time frame for both felonies and misdemeanors. Notably, the People fail to address the defendant's assertions that the...

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