People v. Cintron

Full title: THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent, v. LOUIS CINTRON…

Court: Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

Date published: May 27, 1980

Fact:

Responding to disturbing and distressing information received during the morning hours of July 6, 1975, the police unearthed the bullet-riddled body of Angel Ortiz from a shallow grave in the basement of the El Bolero bar. Bullets had penetrated the brain, heart, and spine of the deceased. Defendant, Louis Cintron, stands convicted of this brutal slaying. He urges, inter alia, that serious deficiencies in the trial court’s charge to the jury deprived him of a fair trial. We do not agree, and affirm the conviction. The provocative and elusive issue posed by this appeal revolves around a determination as to when the court, sua sponte, is mandated to charge on the potential issue of intoxication.

Issue: 

  • The issue in this case is whether the trial court’s failure to charge the jury on intoxication as a potential defense deprived Cintron of a fair trial. Cintron argued that his extensive alcohol consumption on the night of the murder could have affected his intent and culpability for the crime.

Decision: 

  • The decision in this case was made by the appellate court, which affirmed Cintron’s conviction. The court determined that there was only minimal evidence of intoxication, consisting solely of Cintron’s own statements about his alcohol consumption. Cintron himself maintained that he was sober and in control of his actions at the time of the murder. Therefore, the trial court was not obligated to instruct the jury on intoxication as a potential defense, and Cintron’s conviction was upheld.

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