News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
The Court of Appeals, New Yorks top court, is back in session this week, hearing a wide range of cases. Here are some of the highlights:
-- In 2002, gang members crashed a 2002 Bronx christening party, shots were fired and a 10-year-old girl was killed. Edgar Morales was charged with several felonies as crimes of terrorism, under a then newly created state terrorism statute. He was sentenced to 40 years to life.
But a midlevel court determined Morales didnt meet the definition of a terrorist under the statute and reduced his sentence to 25 years to life. Prosecutors are now appealing the sentence.
-- J. DAddario & Co., the well-known musical instrument accessory company based in Farmingdale, is fighting with Embassy Industries over a canceled development contract. The two entered a $6.5 million contract for a Smith Street parcel but the deal never went through. DAddario claimed problems with the sanitary system, according to court documents.
Now, the two are fighting over whether Embassy can keep not only a $650,000 down payment from DAddario but also the $225,000 that accrued in interest on the down payment.
-- Emil Best was convicted in 2007 of endangering the welfare of a child in Island Park when he allegedly offered a 12-year-old boy $50 to expose himself. Best, a friend of the boys family, said it was a jest, according to court documents.
Bests lawyers contend he was denied a fair trial because the local judge ordered him handcuffed in the courtroom -- poisoning the jury against him, attorneys claim.