Notable Decisions and Other News

Decisions

Relief Granted for Client in Robbery Case

December 29, 2015

According to the trial evidence, Appellate Advocates client Nigel Rose, acting in concert with others, lured two complainants (Bishop and Brandt) to a specific location in order to commit a robbery.  Property was taken from Bishop, but not from Brandt, who was shot during the incident and died. Delivering its charge, the court instructed the jurors, without objection, that to find Mr. Rose guilty of robbery in the first degree, they had to find that the defendant forcibly stole property from Brandt.  

Mr. Rose was acquitted of murder in the second degree, but convicted of robbery in the first degree and robbery in the second degree.  On December 29, 2015, the Second Department held that the evidence was insufficient to prove first-degree robbery because when “the trial court’s instructions to the jury increase the People’s burden, and the People fail to object, they must satisfy the heavier burden.”  The Second Department reduced Mr. Rose’s conviction of first-degree robbery to attempted first-degree robbery and remanded the case for resentencing not only on the attempted first-degree robbery count, but also on the undisturbed second-degree robbery count because the court “may have taken the seriousness of the defendant’s conviction of robbery in the first degree into consideration when sentencing him on his conviction of robbery in the second degree.” 

Mr. Rose was represented in the Appellate Division by Skip Laisure of Appellate Advocates and Stephen P. Younger, Andrew D. Cohen, and Sean Murray of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.