The Fourth Department determined defendant’s statement should have been suppressed but found the error harmless. The Fourth Department further held that defendant was properly sentenced to consecutive sentences for possession of the knife and murder by stabbing:
… [D]efendant unequivocally informed the police immediately after being advised of his Miranda rights that “he didn’t want to talk.” No reasonable police officer could have interpreted that statement as anything other than a desire not to talk to the police … . Regardless, the police continued the interrogation, thereby failing to ” scrupulously honor[ ]’ defendant’s right to remain silent” … .
Nevertheless, the error is harmless because the evidence of defendant’s guilt is overwhelming and there is no reasonable possibility that any error in admitting defendant’s statements to the police contributed to his conviction … . * * *
In cases concerning consecutive sentencing in the CPW [criminal possession of a weapon] context, we employ a framework that “appropriately reflects the heightened level of integration between the possession and the ensuing substantive crime for which the weapon was used” … . To determine whether a single act constituted both offenses under section 70.25 (2), we look to when the crime of possession was completed, i.e., both the actus reus and mens rea … .”Only where the act of possession is accomplished before the commission of the ensuing crime and with a mental state that both satisfies the statutory mens rea element and is discrete from that of the underlying crime may consecutive sentences be imposed” … . Consecutive sentencing is permissible here because defendant’s act of possessing the knife was accomplished before he used it to kill the victim and “defendant’s possession [thereof] was marked by an unlawful intent separate and distinct from” his intent with respect to the homicide … . Indeed, the mental state associated with the CPW count, i.e., intent to use the knife unlawfully, is discrete from the mental state associated with the homicide count, i.e., negligence … . People v Colon, 2020 NY Slip Op 04257, Fourth Dept 7-24-20