Wednesday, September 27, 2006

If at first you don't succeed . . .

People v Rodriquez, 2006 NY Slip Op 06683 [available here]

On the day before he killed a woman, Mr. Rodriquez tried to purchase a rifle. Having failed to acquire the gun, defendant opted for a less conventional method of murder--he doused his victim in gasoline and fired a flare gun at her. (Rodriquez, 2006 NY Slip Op 06683.) The trial court allowed the evidence of the failed rifle purchase, and the Fourth Department affirmed because the "testimony concerning his failed attempt to purchase a rifle . . . provided necessary background information and completed the narrative of events." (Id.) Of course. Because if you did not know that defendant tried to buy a gun the day before, you might attribute innocent intent to defendant's attempt to light his gasoline-soaked victim on fire with a flare gun.