People v. Swinson

NEW YORK COUNTY
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Justice Jill Konviser

Swinson was charged with burglary and assault, among other things. The court held a Sirois hearing, and prosecutors moved to reopen it to introduce additional evidence. Complainant, Swinson's wife, told police that after an argument with Swinson, he punched her in the face, and stole her cell phone. At the hospital, complainant completed a Domestic Incident Report. A Department of Corrections (DOCs) investigator testified that Swinson called complainant from jail over 50 times asking her not to press charges. Complainant informed the Assistant District Attorney she no longer wished to cooperate in the prosecution of the case. At the Sirois hearing, complainant was evasive and, contrary to her prior testimony, denied instances of abuse by Swinson, claiming she and Swinson were seeking reconciliation. The court found prosecutors failed to meet their burden of showing that Swinson's misconduct caused complainant's unavailability to testify at trial, stating notably absent from Swinson's calls to complainant were threats or intimidation. It found no evidence complainant was scared or felt threatened by Swinson, finding no evidence complainant did not decide on her own to refuse to further cooperate with the prosecution. Thus, prosecutors' Sirois motion was denied.

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