In a recent New York criminal case before the Appellate Division, Third Department, a New York defendant appealed his convictions of robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree. In his appeal, the defendant argued that the State failed to establish his identity as the person who committed the offense. The higher court, reviewing the trial court’s record, eventually disagreed with the defendant and affirmed his conviction and sentence. The case serves as an important illustration of the difficulties that defendants face when attempting to run a misidentification defense.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the proprietor of a local convenience store closed up shop around 2:30 a.m. one evening. As he was locking the store, two assailants grabbed him, held a knife to his body, and told him to take them into the convenience store. Once there, they ordered him to give them money from the cash register. The assailants both fled with several hundred dollars.
After several weeks of investigating the crime, officers arrested the defendant in this case as one of the two assailants. He was charged with several crimes, two of which were robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree. His case went to trial, and a jury found him guilty as charged. The defendant promptly appealed the guilty verdict.