Venice and Patreese Appeal Decisions

9 12 2008

Today the NY Appeal Court submitted the following decision regarding Venice and Patreese’s appeals:

http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_09642.htm

The court reversed Venice’s conviction, but she will have to face a new trial like Renata. And unfortunately the court affirmed Patreese’s conviction and reduced her sentence from 11 years to 8 years.

As soon as we hear about Renata’s trial and Venice’s new trial we will post it here. In the mean time you can help them get back on their feet and prepare for the new trial by sending check donations to Bay Solidarity, P.O. Box 11281, Oakland, CA 94611.

And please keep in touch with Patreese to let her know that there are folks outside who are still fighting for her and care about her. Send letters and packages to:

Patreese Johnson
#07-G-0635
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 1000
Bedford Hills, NY 10507

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One response

9 12 2008
BMG

Mazzarelli, J.P., Friedman, Gonzalez, Buckley, Sweeny, JJ.

4748 The People of the State of New York, Ind. 4361/06
Respondent,

-against-

Venice Brown,
Defendant-Appellant.
– – – – –
4749 The People of the State of New York, Ind. 4361/06
Respondent,

-against-

Patreese Johnson,
Defendant-Appellant.
_________________________

Gibbons P.C., Newark, NJ (Melanca D. Clark of counsel), for Venice Brown, appellant.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, New York (Karen D. Thompson of counsel), for Patreese Johnson, appellant.

Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York (Susan Axelrod of counsel), for respondent.
_________________________
Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Edward J. McLaughlin, J.), rendered June 14, 2007, convicting defendant Venice Brown, after a jury trial, of gang assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree, and sentencing her to an aggregate term of 5 years, unanimously modified, on the law and as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, to the extent of vacating the gang assault conviction and remanding for a new trial on that count, and otherwise affirmed.

Judgment, same court and Justice, rendered June 14, 2007, convicting defendant Patreese Johnson, after a jury trial, of gang assault in the second degree and assault in the first and second degrees, and sentencing her to concurrent terms of 11 years, 11 years and 7 years, respectively, unanimously modified, as=2 0a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, to the extent of reducing the sentences for the gang assault in the second degree and assault in the first degree convictions to 8 years each, and otherwise affirmed.

The evidence of defendant Brown’s participation in the crime is substantially similar to the evidence received at the same trial against codefendant Renata Hill. Accordingly, for the reasons stated in our prior decision (People v Hill, 52 AD3d 380 [2008]), we conclude that the verdict as to Brown was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence, but that Brown is entitled to a new trial on the gang assault charge because of the charging errors discussed in Hill. We find it unnecessary to reach any other issues raised by Brown.

Defendant Johnson, who personally stabbed the victim, challenges the sufficiency of the evidence establishing the element of serious physical injury. That claim is unpreserved and we decline to review it in the interest of justice. As an alternative holding, we also reject it on the merits. Even without the aid of expert testimony, the jury could have readily inferred from the victim’s testimony and medical records that his stab wounds to his liver and stomach were life-threatening (see e.g. People v Jones, 38 AD3d 352 [2007], lv denied 9 NY3d 846 [2007]). Johnson’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim relating to this issue is likewise without merit.

We find Johnson’s sentence excessive to the extent indicated.
THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER
OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

ENTERED: DECEMBER 9, 2008

_______________________
CLERK

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