Sunday, October 4, 2009

In rejecting the People's appeal from the dismissal of an indictment for Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, the Court in People v Hatch (2009 NY Slip Op 07075 [4th Dept 10/02/09]) held that
Defendant's actions in driving a vehicle off a street and "doing donuts" with the vehicle in an open field at night with the headlights on do not constitute the "hallmarks of wanton recklessness necessary to demonstrate circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life' " (People v Dudley, 31 AD3d 264, 264, lv denied 7 NY3d 866; cf. People v Gomez, 65 NY2d 9, 10-12; People v Mooney, 62 AD3d 725; People v Robinson, 16 AD3d 768, 769-770, lv denied 4 NY3d 856). Further, although there was evidence that defendant drove in the general direction of two witnesses, we conclude that such evidence is insufficient to establish that defendant's conduct created a grave risk of death to those witnesses (cf. Robinson, 16 AD3d at 769-770; People v Williams, 158 AD2d 253, 253-254, lv denied 75 NY2d 971).

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