Denial of Adjournment and Missing Witness Charge Were Errors Requiring New Trial
Mr. Reeves was convicted by a jury of first-degree robbery. During the trial, defense counsel sought a one-day adjournment, as Mr. Reeves’s daughter, who was an alibi witness prepared to testify about his whereabouts on the day of the incident, was out of state. The trial judge denied the request for an adjournment and provided a missing witness instruction, stating that the jury could draw an adverse inference from the daughter’s absence at trial. The Appellate Division reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial, ruling that the denial of the request for a one-day adjournment was error and that the missing witness charge was unduly prejudicial. The conviction was reversed and a new trial was ordered.
Leila Hull represented Mr. Reeves