Notable Decisions and Other News


Second Department Reduces Sentence on One Conviction, Orders New Trial on Another


Shamduh Wilson was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree manslaughter, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly shooting at Andre Wheatley, who survived, and killing an innocent bystander in the process.  Convicted on all counts, he was sentenced to concurrent terms of 25 years and 15 years for manslaughter and assault, respectively, and a consecutive term of 10 years for weapon possession.  In a separate indictment, Mr. Wilson was charged with second-degree conspiracy for allegedly conspiring, from jail, to have Wheatley killed. 

The Appellate Division, Second Department, granted Mr. Wilson some relief on both convictions.  First, the court held that Mr. Wilson's aggregate sentence in the manslaughter case was excessive and ordered that the 10-year term for weapon possession run concurrently, rather than consecutively.  

Second, the court reversed Mr. Wilson’s conspiracy conviction and ordered a new trial because of a jurisdictional issue.  The court held that, although the indictment alleged jurisdiction in Kings County on the basis of “overt acts committed in Kings County,” the trial evidence did not support that theory.  As charged to the jury, Kings County jurisdiction was based on conduct which had, or was likely to have, a particular effect upon that county.  Therefore, the defendant did not have fair notice of the jurisdictional theory presented to the jury.  

Steven Bernhard briefed and argued the case on behalf of Appellate Advocates.