Murder Conviction Reversed, New Trial Ordered Due to the Cumulative Effect of Trial Court Errors
At trial, Mr. Aponte presented a misidentification defense, contending his codefendant shot the victims. The jury convicted Mr. Aponte of second-degree murder and related counts. The Appellate Division reversed the conviction due to the cumulative effect of numerous errors by the trial judge: improperly limiting the cross-examination of a police witness regarding the lineup procedures, wrongly admitting a hearsay statement as an excited utterance, denying the defense request to introduce photographs, curtailing and interrupting defense counsel’s summation, and erroneously instructing the jury that counsel could not argue the lineup was unfair or suggestive. Accordingly, a new trial was ordered.
Cynthia Colt represented Mr. Aponte