The Second Department, reversing defendant’s burglary convictions, determined the jury should not have been instructed to consider a theory of burglary (intent to assault versus intent to damage property) with which defendant was not charged:
A defendant has a right to be tried only for the crimes charged in the indictment … . “Where the prosecution is limited by the indictment or bill of particulars to a certain theory or theories, the court must hold the prosecution to such narrower theory or theories” … . This rule applies in cases charging burglary, where it is not normally necessary for the People to demonstrate the exact crime which the defendant intended to commit while inside the building … .
Here, we agree with the defendant that the People limited their theory of burglary in their bill of particulars, which incorporated the allegations of the criminal complaint, to the intent to commit property damage and/or theft … . Therefore, the Supreme Court erred in permitting the prosecutor to argue, during summation, and in permitting the jury to consider, the uncharged theory that the defendant intended to assault the complainant … . People v Petersen, 2021 NY Slip Op 00193, Second Dept 1-13-21