Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Completing the Narrative
People v. Lester
Appealed from Monroe County Court
Background: The defendant was convicted of second-degree assault after a jury trial. He raised two issues on appeal: the limitation of cross-examination of a prosecution witness and the prosecutor’s use of an out-of-court statement of an unidentified witness.
Ruling: Conviction affirmed. The scope of cross-examination is within the sound discretion of the trial judge. There was no good-faith basis for the question. The refusal to allow the single question cannot have affected the outcome of the trial.
The out-of-court statement was not offered for its truth but for the fact that it was made. It was to complete the narrative of events and explain police actions. A proper limiting instruction was given.
Timothy S. Davis for the defendant; and Leslie E. Swift for Monroe County District Attorney’s Office