People v. Patrick A. Asaro


AD2 order dated April 3, 2012, affirming judgment of conviction. Decision below: 94 A.D.3d 773, 941 N.Y.S.2d 251. Pigott, J., granted leave October 2, 2012.

ISSUES PRESENTED: (1) Sufficiency of the evidence of recklessness in driving the car, so as to establish second-degree manslaughter. (2) Whether the acquittal of the driving-while-impaired count rendered the verdict repugnant. (3) Whether the accident-reconstruction expert should have been allowed to testify where he had lost his original notes.

Issue before the Court: Whether the evidence of second-degree manslaughter was sufficient in a car crash case, where the defendant was driving at an extremely high rate of speed but his blood alcohol level didn’t show that he was drunk.

Held: The evidence was sufficient as it showed that the defendant was showcasing the capabilities of his modified car, was aware of the treacherous turn in the road, and had been drinking earlier in the night. This evidence showed that he consciously disregarded a known risk, rather than simply acted negligently.