Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

People v. Dlugash

Court of Appeals of New York
41 N.Y.2d 725,  363 N.E.2d 1155 (1977)



Melvin Dlugash (defendant), Michael Geller, and Joe Bush were at Geller’s apartment drinking. Bush had been staying at Geller’s apartment and, during the course of the night, Geller demanded that Bush pay $100 towards the rent. Bush refused. Around 3:30 a.m., Geller again demanded rent money from Bush. Bush withdrew his gun and fired three shots at Geller’s chest. Geller fell to the floor. Approximately 3-5 minutes later, Dlugash stood over Geller, aimed his gun, and fired five shots into Geller’s head and face. Dlugash later told a police officer that he believed Geller was already dead. Dlugash was charged with murder. At trial, the prosecution presented two physicians as expert witnesses. Neither was able to conclusively state that Geller was alive at the time Dlugash fired the shots. The defense produced one witness, a former medical examiner who testified that Geller might have died “very rapidly” from the wounds inflicted by Bush. The trial court submitted two theories to the jury in which to convict Dlugash: (1) that he had either intentionally murdered Geller, or (2) had attempted to murder Geller. The jury found Dlugash guilty of murder and he appealed. The appellate division reversed, concluding that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Geller had been alive at the time he was shot by Dlugash and that the conviction could not be modified to attempted murder because at the time he fired the shots, Dlugash believed Geller to already have been dead. The New York Court of Appeals reviewed the case.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Jasen, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial