Recently, the New York Appellate Division, Third Department issued an opinion in a case involving a defendant’s attempt to reverse his conviction for a gun crime. On appeal, the defendant asked the court to review the evidence from trial and come to the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s guilty verdict. After going through both the evidence from trial as well as the defendant’s argument on appeal, the court disagreed with the defendant and ultimately concluding that the evidence was sufficient and that the defendant’s appeal should be denied.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant activated a security alarm while he was on his way out of a sporting goods store in May 2017. Security officers immediately came to the defendant and asked him to remove his backpack so that he could walk by the sensor. Again, the defendant set off alarms. Eventually, a security guard asked the defendant to empty his pockets, and the defendant revealed four boxes of ammunition that he had stolen.
The defendant was taken to the police station, and officers found a slungshot in his backpack when they searched the items he had on his person. A few hours later, the defendant’s granddaughter, with whom he was staying, turned over the defendant’s belongings to the police. In those belongings, the officers found a firearm. Upon searching a storage unit that belonged to the defendant, the officers also found four firearms, ammunition, and three additional slungshots.
The defendant was charged with six counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and nine counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. He was found guilty at trial, and he promptly appealed.
On appeal, the defendant argued that the convictions were not supported by sufficient evidence. It was entirely possible, said the defendant, that he unknowingly possessed the weaponry. Because an essential element of the crime was that the defendant knew he had the weapons in his possession, the lack of this evidence meant that the conviction should be reversed.
The court considered the defendant’s argument but ultimately disagreed with him. Looking at the trial record, the court noted that the defendant testified that he owned and possessed the slungshots. He explicitly stated where and when he had obtained the weapons, allowing the court to draw a reasonable inference that he did in fact know he possessed the weapons.
Thus, the court held that the evidence was legally sufficient to support the defendant’s conviction, and his appeal was subsequently denied.
Are You Facing Weaponry Charges in New York?
If you have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the state of New York, contact us a call at Tilem & Associates. We stay up to date on recent rulings that allow us to predict which defense strategies will work best for your individual circumstances. Our representation is aggressive and our commitment to you is unparalleled. For a free and confidential consultation, give us a call today at 877-377-8666.