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174-176-177opn13-Decision

174-176-177opn13-Decision

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Published by Jon Campbell
Decision
Decision

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Published by: Jon Campbell on Nov 21, 2013
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01/02/2014

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================================================================= This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision beforepublication in the New York Reports.-----------------------------------------------------------------No. 174  The People &c., Respondent, v.Martin Heidgen, Appellant.(Ind. No. 1910N/05)-----------------------No. 176  The People &c., Respondent, v. Taliyah Taylor, Appellant.-----------------------No. 177  The People &c., Respondent, v.Franklin McPherson, Appellant.Case No. 174: Jillian S. Harrington, for appellant.Maureen McCormick, for respondent.District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, amicus curiae.Case No. 176:Erica Horwitz, for appellant.Anne Grady, for respondent.District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, amicus curiae.Case No. 177: Jonathan I. Edelstein, for appellant.Maureen McCormick, for respondent.
 
District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, amicus curiae.LIPPMAN, Chief Judge:Defendants in these three appeals challenge theirconvictions of depraved indifference murder. Each defendantdrove in an outrageously reckless manner while intoxicated by- 1 -
 
- 2 -No. 174, 176, 177alcohol or drugs and caused the death of at least one otherperson. Defendants maintain that the evidence was not legallysufficient to support their convictions –- specifically, thatthere was insufficient proof that they had the requisite mentalstate of depraved indifference. Although intoxicated drivingcases that present circumstances evincing a depraved indifferenceto human life are likely to be few and far between, we find thatthe evidence in each of these unusually egregious cases waslegally sufficient to support the convictions.
People v Heidgen
At about 4:30 pmon July 1, 2005, defendant MartinHeidgen met a friend for drinks at a Manhattan bar. When thefriend left about three hours later, defendant, who remained atthe bar, had already consumed six beers. Later that night,between 11:00 pmand midnight, defendant drove to a party at afriends house in Merrick. Defendant proceeded to consumeseveral additional alcoholic beverages at the party. Although heappeared to be intoxicated or “buzzed,” defendant was notunsteady on his feet or slurring his words. Defendant left theparty after about an hour and a half, without saying goodbye. Itwas not only well-known among their group of friends that therewould always be a place to stay or a designated driver availableif necessary, but one friend testified that she had had aspecific conversation with defendant to that effect about a weekprior to the party.- 2 -

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