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Criminal Law Keyed to Kennedy
People v. Casassa
Citation:49 N.Y.2d 668 (1980)
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The defendant and Lo Consolo apparently dated casually on other occasions until Lo Consolo informed defendant that she was not “falling in love” with him. Defendant claims that Miss Lo Consolo’s candid statement of her feelings “devastated him.”
Lo Consolo’s rejection of defendant’s advances also precipitated a bizarre series of actions on the part of defendant which, he asserts, demonstrate the existence of extreme emotional disturbance upon which he predicates asserting defense. Defendant, aware that Lo Consolo maintained social relationships with others, broke into the apartment below hers on several occasions to eavesdrop. These eavesdropping sessions allegedly caused him to be under great emotional stress. Thereafter, on one occasion, he broke into her apartment while she was out. Defendant took nothing, but, instead, observed the apartment, disrobed and lay for a time in Lo Consolo’s bed. During this break-in, defendant was armed with a knife which, he later told police, he carried “because he knew that he was either going to hurt Victoria or Victoria was going to cause him to commit suicide.”
Defendant’s final visit to his victim’s apartment occurred on February 28, 1977. Defendant brought several bottles of wine and liquor with him to offer as a gift. Upon Lo Consolo’s rejection of this offering, defendant produced a steak knife which he had brought with him, stabbed her several times in the throat, dragged her body to the bathroom and submerged it in a bathtub full of water to “make sure she was dead.”
At trial, he argued that he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance. The trial court denied it, holding that defendant’s emotional reaction at the time of the commission of the crime was so peculiar to him that it could not be considered reasonable so as to reduce the conviction. He was convicted of second degree murder.
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