Second Department Reverses Robbery Conviction Because of Evidentiary Errors
Appellant David Gonsalves was indicted for first-degree robbery and related charges in connection with a gunpoint robbery at a barbershop. At trial, the court allowed into evidence the complainant's testimony that appellant's stepfather visited the barbershop a few days after the incident to say he was "sorry" for what appellant had done and to return a few items that were taken during the robbery. The Second Department held that this testimony was improperly admitted because there was no showing that appellant was "in any way connected to his stepfather's actions." The trial court also allowed into evidence a detective's testimony that a non-testifying anonymous informant was "an eyewitness to the crime" and "identified [appellant] by name," which the Second Department held constituted a Confrontation Clause violation.
Accordingly, the Second Department reversed appellant's conviction and ordered a new trial.
Meredith S. Holt briefed and argued the case on behalf of Appellate Advocates.