People
v.
Lewis

Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second DepartmentJul 3, 1989
152 A.D.2d 600 (N.Y. App. Div. 1989)
152 A.D.2d 600543 N.Y.S.2d 709

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July 3, 1989

Appeal from the County Court, Westchester County (Cunningham, J.).


Ordered that the judgment is affirmed.

The police found the defendant's wallet on the floor of the complainant's apartment. When the defendant went to the police station to pick up his wallet, he was confronted by detectives. The defendant waived his Miranda rights and explained that he had lost his wallet at the complainant's home. The detectives asked the defendant whether anything happened between the defendant and the complainant, but the defendant said he did not want to answer that question because his answer might be incriminatory. After a few more questions, the detectives again asked the defendant if anything had happened between him and the complainant. The defendant again declined to answer and the interview was terminated.

Contrary to the defendant's contention, the police were not obligated to terminate the interview simply because the defendant declined to answer a question (see, People v Madison, 135 A.D.2d 655, 658, affd 73 N.Y.2d 810). The defendant's refusal to answer a specific question cannot be considered an unqualified assertion of his right to counsel or of his right to remain silent (People v Madison, supra, at 658).

We have considered the defendant's remaining contentions and find them to be without merit. Mangano, J.P., Brown, Kunzeman and Kooper, JJ., concur.