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Supreme Court Appellate Division Fourth Department

Mar 31, 2020

Appellate court vacates guilty plea

A state appeals court has vacated a guilty plea in a burglary and grand larceny case because of a conflict of interest. In May 2016, Thomas Sears pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. In a decision released March 20, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Fourth Department, […]

Feb 8, 2018

Weapon conviction tossed over lack of evidence

An appellate court has tossed the weapon conviction of a Rochester man because of a lack of evidence. Vergil Willingham, 41, was convicted in October 2014 after a bench trial of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon by Monroe County Court Judge James J. Piampiano. Willingham was sentenced to up to eight years in state […]

Feb 6, 2018

Improper search prompts reversal

An appellate court has dismissed a weapon conviction because the gun was found in an illegal police search. Defendant Marvin Roberts pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in December 2015 after Monroe County Court Judge Douglas A. Randall denied a defense motion to suppress the handgun police found on Roberts. Police officers […]

Feb 6, 2018

New trial granted over jury instructions

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court has granted a new trial in a burglary case because of faulty jury instructions. Kevin M. Downey, 34, was convicted of first-degree burglary in February 2016 and sentenced to up to 18 years in prison. Downey was accused of going into his sister’s home and then into the […]

Feb 5, 2018

Murder conviction dismissed

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, in a 3-2 decision, has dismissed a murder conviction that was “against the weight of the evidence.” Preston Carter, 34, was convicted of second-degree murder in November 2012 for the death of Joel Greenburg, 40, who was found dead in a room at a Henrietta motel in November […]

Nov 30, 2017

Appeals court remits case for double jeopardy

A Herkimer County man may have erroneously spent several years in state prison because the lawyers and judges involved overlooked a case of double jeopardy. The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court has sent the case of 32-year-old Charles Pace back to Herkimer County Court for a hearing on the issue and Pace is likely […]

Nov 2, 2017

New murder trial set for December

A new trial for a man once convicted of murder is set to start Dec. 11 in state Supreme Court. In March, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Fourth Department, vacated the 2003 second-degree murder conviction of Rodney D. McFarland, who was sentenced to 25 years to life for the fatal shooting of Serrell […]

Oct 10, 2017

Appellate court tosses homicide conviction

An appellate court has dismissed the indictment against a man convicted of third-degree criminally negligent homicide after he drove his car into a park, hitting two children, killing one. On May 9, 2011, James Bradley, 57, suffered a seizure and drove his car onto a field at School 33, on Webster Avenue, leaving a 7-year-old […]

Oct 10, 2017

Fourth Department grants new trial in drug case

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court has granted a new trial in a drug case because the judge refused to give the jury a circumstantial evidence instruction. Samuel Ayala, 43, was convicted in November 2014 of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. Monroe County […]

Sep 27, 2017

Fran Cafarell retires as clerk of Fourth Department

Rather than choose one over the other, Frances E. Cafarell pursued her passion for both journalism and the law and achieved success in both. Cafarell retired Wednesday as clerk at the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Fourth Department. Her legal career was preceded by a pioneering stint in television news in the 1970s and […]

Aug 1, 2017

Homicide conviction overturned

An appellate panel, in a split decision, has reversed the manslaughter conviction of a Niagara County woman who claimed she was acting in self-defense. Jennifer Marchant, 28, was convicted in March 2014 of first-degree manslaughter for the death of her boyfriend, Ralph Stone. Marchant stabbed Stone, who was 24, with a kitchen knife on Feb. […]

Jul 17, 2017

Wife of accident victim unable to collect on settlement

The wife of a man seriously injured when he was hit by car during a 2009 air show may have run out of options in her bid to collect a $20 million settlement of a lawsuit she filed in the case. The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Fourth Department, on July 7 upheld a […]

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