The Fourth Department determined the evidence submitted by the People at the Darden hearing did not establish the existence of an informant with extrinsic evidence. Therefore the motion to suppress was granted and the indictment dismissed. The People presented only a death certificate purporting to demonstrate the informant was dead. No extrinsic evidence of the existence of the informant was presented:
The People must produce a confidential informant for an ex parte hearing upon defendant’s request where, as here, they rely on the statements of the confidential informant to establish probable cause (… People v Darden, 34 NY2d 177, 181  … ). …
There are, however, exceptions to the requirement that the People produce a confidential informant for a Darden hearing. If the People succeed in making a threshold showing that the informant “is unavailable and cannot be produced through the exercise of due diligence” … , they are permitted instead to establish the existence of the informant by extrinsic evidence … .
Even assuming, arguendo, that the People succeeded here in making such a threshold showing, we conclude that they nevertheless failed to establish the existence of the informant by extrinsic evidence … . The evidence establishes only that a deposition was executed in the name of the alleged confidential informant, that the police obtained a search warrant using the deposition, and that a death certificate was later issued for a person having the same name as the confidential informant. There is no evidence that the alleged informant actually made the statements attributed to her … . The People could have met their burden by offering the testimony of a police witness, which is evidence that is explicitly contemplated in Darden. Yet, they did not. Without it, there is nothing to refute the possibility that the police fabricated the statements in the informant’s purported deposition in order to conceal the fact that information critical to the probable cause inquiry was instead obtained through illegal police action. People v Givans, 2019 NY Slip Op 02220, Fourth Dept 3-22-19