The First Department, in a full-fledged opinion by Justice Andrias (disagreeing at length with the rationale of the concurring opinion), reversed defendant’s perjury conviction because a witness’ (Woods’) grand jury testimony was wrongly admitted under the past recollection recorded hearsay exception. Woods testified and remained available to testify when the hearsay exception was invoked. Woods claimed that he did not know whether he had actual knowledge of past events or whether his memory stemmed from the many “prep” discussions he had had with the prosecutor over a six-year period. There was a six-year gap between the underlying events and Woods’ grand jury appearance. The First Department determined the prosecutor did not lay a sufficient foundation for admission of the grand jury testimony in that it was not shown that Woods’ recollection was “fairly fresh” at the time of the grand jury testimony:
Although there is no rigid rule as to how soon after the event the statement must have been made …, here the assurance of the accuracy of the recordation and its trustworthiness are diminished by the six- year gap between the underlying events, which concluded in 2000, and Woods’s grand jury testimony in 2006 * * * .
The People argue that Woods’s testimony is admissible despite the six-year gap because the trial court found that he was “feigning a lack of memory.” However, even if Woods’s lack of memory demonstrates that he was unable or unwilling to testify, it does not abrogate the People’s obligation to satisfy the foundational requirement that the recollection was fairly fresh when [*5]recorded or adopted.
Nor was Woods able to “presently testify that the record correctly represented his knowledge and recollection when made” … . Although Woods testified that he believed his grand jury testimony was truthful and accurate, he also testified that “[a]s I sit here right now, I can’t tell you if everything that’s in that Grand Jury that I said was … accurate”; that although he “wanted to be accurate” and “wouldn’t testify untruthfully,” he could not swear that “what’s in the … Grand Jury … was exactly what happened,” and that he could not “remember [if] … what I was talking to was my clear recollection or … was resulting from [my prep sessions] with people.” Thus, Woods’s testimony reflects that although he would not have purposefully lied to the grand jury, he could not presently state that his testimony accurately reflected his own recollection of the events in question at the time that he testified before it … . People V DiTommaso, 2015 NY Slip Op 01592, 1st Dept 2-14-15