Law School Case Brief
People v. Washington - 283 A.D.2d 661, 728 N.Y.S.2d 48 (App. Div. 2001)
A conviction of robbery in the second degree under Penal Law § 160.10 (1) requires that the evidence sufficiently establish that the defendant was aided by another person actually present.
On August 31, 1998, at about 12:30 P.M., the complainant was leaving her apartment when she observed an old car, with two male occupants, pull up next to her apartment. She saw one man exit the car from the passenger seat and noticed that the driver remained in the car with the engine running. The man who exited, identified by both the complainant and an eyewitness as defendant Henry Washington, snatched her purse and ran back to the getaway car. The driver never exited. The getaway car drove off in reverse because another car blocked its escape. After trial in New York state court, Washington was convicted of robbery in the second degree. Washington appealed.
Was Washington's conviction for robbery in the second degree proper?
The appellate division affirmed the trial court's judgment. The court held that the evidence was legally sufficient to establish that Washington was "aided by another person actually present," as required for a conviction of robbery in the second degree under § 160.10(1). According to the court, the driver posed a sufficient threat of additional violence and was ready, willing, or able to assist Washington so as to satisfy the aggravating element, of being aided by another person actually present, for the conviction.
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