Court Rules Against Man Who Brandished Finger Gun
Attempted first-degree robbery conviction stands for Charles Smith
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2017 7:11 AM CDT
Bad news for Charles Smith.   (Getty Images/Sveta)

(Newser) – Charles Smith's gun may have been fake, but a New York Court of Appeals ruling against him is very real. Per the Wall Street Journal, the court decided Tuesday to retain Smith's conviction of attempted first-degree robbery instead of reducing the charge, even though it was Smith's hand, not a firearm, under his hoodie when he told a teller at a Queens check-cashing store he had a gun and demanded money. The court says that, based on an interpretation of New York's penal law regarding robbery, the teller reasonably could have thought Smith really had a gun, warranting the higher charge. To bolster its decision for this 2011 case, the court cited a previous 1989 case it had ruled on in which it said the ball was in the defendant's court to prove there was no gun, the New York Law Journal reports.

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