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People v. Flores

New York Supreme Court of Westchester County
476 N.Y.S.2d 478 (1984)


Facts

Flores (defendant) and his accomplice committed a robbery and fled in a van. Two police officers, Officer Pagano and Sergeant Halbekath, saw the van and began pursuing the robbers in a high-speed chase in their police car. Witnesses traveling in the same direction saw portions of the chase, but the van and the police car sped around a curve and out of the witnesses’ sight. When the witnesses continued around the curve, they saw that an accident had occurred between the police car and a truck that had been illegally abandoned on the side of the highway. There was no evidence of any physical interaction between the van and the police car immediately prior to the accident. Officer Pagano was killed, and Sergeant Halbekath was seriously injured in the accident. Flores was charged with second-degree murder based upon the state’s robbery felony-murder statute, among numerous other charges. The prosecution asserted that the felony-murder charge was warranted because the police officers were killed while pursuing Flores after he committed a robbery. At trial, Flores moved for a dismissal of the case for lack of legally sufficient evidence proving that he caused the accident.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McMahon, J.)

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