People v. Castor

APPELLATE DIVISION
FOURTH DEPARTMENT
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Per Curiam

Castor appealed from a judgment convicting her of second-degree murder of her second husband from antifreeze poisoning, and the attempted murder of her daughter. Police exhumed the body of Castor's first husband and determined that he too died from antifreeze poisoning. After the daughter regained consciousness, she denied that she attempted suicide or that she wrote a suicide note admitting she killed her father, Castor's first husband, or her stepfather. The unanimous panel concluded Castor was the perpetrator of her first husband's uncharged murder, and the evidence of that uncharged crime was inextricably interwoven with evidence of the current charged crimes. It ruled prosecutors presented evidence Castor committed the uncharged murder by using a distinctive and unique modus operandi, and that she attempted to murder her daughter as drafts of the suicide note were discovered written at times the daughter was not home. The daughter's statements were admissible under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule. Thus, the conviction of attempted murder was supported by legally sufficient evidence and not against the weight of the evidence, hence did not require modification or reversal.

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