Appellate Division, Fourth Department – County’s Jurisdiction – Double Jeopardy
People v. Maldonado
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The defendant was convicted by a jury of Grand Larceny third degree, and challenged whether the county’s jurisdiction to charge the crime had been established. He also challenged this issue regarding the grand jury proceeding. The defendant also raised a double jeopardy issue: An earlier trial had resulted in a mistrial, and he challenged whether the evidence at that trial was legally sufficient.
Ruling: Conviction affirmed. The people at trial established venue, or geographical jurisdiction, by a preponderance. As for the grand jury, that issue was not properly before the Appellate Division: a writ of prohibition is the proper remedy for challenging a county’s jurisdiction to indict and prosecute. Regarding double jeopardy, while insufficient evidence at a first trial will bar a second trial, that applies where the people have had a full and fair opportunity in the first trial. In the first trial, defendant had moved for a mistrial before the Ppeople had a full opportunity to present their case.
Angel Maldonado, pro se; David A. Heraty for Erie County District Attorney’s Office