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New York Appellate Court Upholds Murder Conviction, Rejects Defendant’s Challenge to Voluntariness of Confession

Legal News GavelNew York Criminal Defense Lawyers need to be aware of the  countless procedural rules that are absolutely essential to follow in order to ensure that you protect your rights at every step of a criminal investigation or prosecution in addition to the substantive law.  At Tilem & Associates, our diligent team of New York homicide defense lawyers has substantial experience and knowledge when it comes to these procedural rules and navigating the courtroom. A recent New York appellate opinion illustrates there are countless rules that apply to how law enforcement can secure a confession from a witness.

In the case, the defendant was convicted of murder, attempted robbery, and burglary. The defendant was not originally a suspect in the matter, but throughout their investigation, the detectives identified inconsistent information in statements that the defendant provided to the police. The police brought the defendant in for questioning, which lasted for several hours during the course of three days. The defendant implicated two other individuals in the crimes and ultimately confessed to murdering two victims, ages 21 and 18 respectively, who were siblings and who lived together in an apartment in Queens.

The events giving rise to the murders involved one of the victims phoning the defendant, who was her ex-boyfriend, and asking for help. The authorities were eventually called to the apartment, where the defendant was waiting. The detectives collected a broad spectrum of evidence from the scene of the crime and conducted multiple interviews of persons related to the incident who potentially had information. The defendant was one of the people who were initially interviewed, even though he was not listed as a suspect at first. By the end of the investigation, he was charged with six counts of murder, among other things.

After his arrest, the defendant moved to suppress his confession. In response, the prosecution offered statements from detectives describing the interrogation and indicating that they believed the defendant was sufficiently fluent in English to understand his rights and what was happening. The defendant asked the appellate court to order a new trial on the basis that the prosecution failed to show that his statement was voluntary and that he waived his Miranda rights knowingly and voluntarily.

On review, the appellate court examined evidence in the record regarding the defendant’s interrogation and concluded that the defendant’s confession was sufficient and that the lower court did not err in denying his motion to suppress it. The appellate court rejected his arguments that the detectives held him for an unreasonable period of time, that his arraignment was delayed unreasonably, and that he was not sufficiently fluent in English to understand his rights.

If you are involved in a criminal investigation or facing criminal charges, the seasoned homicide defense lawyers at Tilem & Associates are standing by to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your rights are protected. The prosecution may act as though they have your best interests in mind, but that is often not the case. We will stand by you through each step and make sure that you understand your options along the way. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at 1-877-377-8666 or contact us online.

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