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People v. Lynes

Court of Appeals of New York
401 N.E.2d 405 (1980)


Facts

The state of New York (plaintiff) prosecuted Julius Lynes (defendant) for robbery and sexual assault. The victim knew her assailant as "Speedy." Police detective Donald Longo learned from Speedy's brother that Speedy's real name was Julius Lynes. Longo left his telephone number with the brother and asked the brother to have Lynes call him. Hours later, Longo received a phone call from a man who identified himself both as Speedy and Julius Lynes. Longo asked the caller to come to the police station and answer questions about the crime. Longo gave the caller details of evidence found at the crime scene, which seemed to alarm the caller. The caller refused to be questioned, said Longo would have to find him, and hung up. Longo did not know Lynes and therefore could not identify the caller by his voice. At trial, the state introduced Longo's report of the phone call as evidence. The state also introduced evidence that after Lynes was arrested he told another police officer he knew Longo was looking for him. The jury convicted Lynes. On appeal to the Court of Appeals of New York, Lynes argued the state did not authenticate the phone caller's identity and therefore the judge erred in admitting the call as evidence.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Fuchsberg, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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