Robbery sentence revised on technicality
Appellate judges reversed a Brooklyn judge’s decision to further punish an admitted robber for not showing up to court for sentencing, according to the higher court’s decision released on Wednesday.
When Billy Andre pleaded guilty to committing the crimes in three separate indictments in May 2014, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Martin P. Murphy failed to give instructions [to Andre] to return to court for sentencing, and Andre would be in violation with the plea bargain if he did not return.
“He [Andre] was promised that the sentences imposed would run concurrently. The defendant did not appear in court on the scheduled sentencing date,” wrote Judge Valerie Brathwaite Nelson. “Subsequently, in rendering the judgments of conviction, the Supreme Court directed, inter alia, the sentence imposed on the second judgment to run consecutively to the sentence imposed on the first judgment.”
The judges unanimously agreed that “the court should not have imposed enhanced sentences based on the defendant’s violation of this purported condition” that was not given in the first place.
Although Andre’s defense attorney did not object to Justice Murphy’s enhanced sentence, the higher court decided to exercise their “interest of justice jurisdiction to vacate the sentences,” the decision read.
Andre, 25, is currently serving 11 to 13 years in Sing Sing Correctional Facility, according to court records. He is expected to get resentenced on a future date.