Notable Decisions and Other News


Second Department Reverses Murder Conviction, Orders New Trial


Appellant Tyshawn Augustus was indicted for murder in the second degree.  After a search warrant was issued authorizing the taking of a saliva sample from appellant, defense counsel moved to controvert the warrant on the ground that the warrant application did not provide sufficient information to establish probable cause.  On appeal, the People conceded, and the Second Department held, that the affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant application was insufficient because it did not "identify the witnesses" with whom the detective had spoken or "indicate what information he obtained from them," and it did not "specify what police department records he reviewed, or what information was contained in the records." 

The Second Department held that the lower court's error in denying the motion and "admitting the evidence concerning the defendant’s DNA profile" was not harmless.  Accordingly, the Court reversed appellant's conviction and ordered a new trial

Alexis Ascher briefed and argued the case.