Notable Decisions and Other News


Second Department Reverses Conviction, Dismisses Indictment


Emmanuel Chavez was charged with first-degre assault (two counts), third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and second-degree gang assault in connection with a street fight in Queens.  A codefendant and an uncharged individual were also alleged to have been involved in the incident.  

The trial testimony indicated that, during the fight, the complainant "was not sure who slashed him."  The complainant also made inconsistent statements regarding the identity of the slasher after the incident, and eyewitnesses provided conflicting accounts regarding whether appellant was involved.  The jury convicted Mr. Chavez of second-degree gang assault, but it acquitted him on the remaining charges, and the codefendant was acquitted on all counts.  

Citing the jury's acquittal of Mr. Chavez on the first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon counts, the Appellate Division, Second Department, held that the jury's verdict convicting him of second-degree gang assault was against the weight of the evidence.  The court reversed Mr. Chavez's conviction and dismissed the indictment.  

Lauren Jones briefed and argued the case on behalf of Appellate Advocates.