New Trial Ordered in Murder Case
Erroll Irving was charged with murder after a carpenter employed by his landlord was found stabbed to death in a house in which Mr. Irving rented a room. Mr. Irving testified that the carpenter came to the house, accused him of owing the landlord money, threatened “to beat [him] to get it,” and hit him in the face with keys. Mr. Irving believed he was going to be robbed and was “scared to death,” so he stabbed the carpenter. The court denied counsel’s request for a justification charge regarding the use of deadly physical force to defend against the use of physical force in the course of an attempted robbery, but the Appellate Division held that this was error and ordered a new trial. In addition, even though the issue was not preserved at the trial level, the court also noted that certain comments made by the prosecutor on summation were improper.
Reyna E. Marder briefed the case and Erica Horwitz argued it in the Second Department.