Court dismisses charge

Angel D. Rivera won a Dec. 27 appeal hearing, which resulted in the dropping of a petit larceny charge from his sentence for a 2010 robbery in Amsterdam.

The Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department dismissed the petit larceny charge based on Rivera’s conviction of a greater offense, court documents said.

On Nov. 23, 2010, Rivera was found guilty of second-degree robbery and petit larceny for robbing a Reid Street convenient store on Feb. 23, 2010.

Rivera was found by police moments after a robbery took place at a nearby convenience store where the assailant was using a handgun. City officers stopped Rivera because his clothes matched the description given by the witnesses.

Officers brought him back to the store where Sashona Perry identified him as a person she saw entering then exiting the store at the time of the robbery.

Rivera was charged by indictment with second-degree robbery and petit larceny. He then moved to suppress evidence, including Perry’s testimony identifying him as the suspect. His case then went to trial, and two more witnesses testified.

The store owner, Shagufta Nasir, testified she was working alone the night of the robbery when a man carrying a handgun came in wearing a scarf over his face. She testified that he demanded money from the register and threatened to kill her if she contacted the police. She identified him based on his eyes, the color of his skin and the clothes he was apprehended in.

The court records showed, however, that Nasir was unable to identify Rivera when he was brought back to the store. But Perry’s identification stood as she saw him when she was leaving the store, and again from across the street when he was leaving.

Ashleigh Deronda also testified that she was in her home across the street at the time of the robbery, and noted the person fleeing the store was wearing a “furry coat with orange inside the coat.” Officer Michael Cole testified that Rivera was taken in, because his clothing matched the description – notably the jacket with the orange lining.

The court ruled the trial was viewed in a neutral light and coupled with rational inferences drawn from it, the jury’s ruling on guilty was “established beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Rivera was initially charged with 12 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision.

He challenged the ruling claiming that the County court erred when it denied his motion to suppress, because Perry’s identification of him was secured as a result of a suggestive show up. He was denied that appeal.

The court ruled that his significant criminal history including two prior felony convictions bars any modification of the sentence.