ALBANY - The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court on Thursday largely upheld the conviction of a Bronx man involved with co-defendants in the summer 2011 shooting and robbery of an Amsterdam man in Gloversville.
The appeals court mostly upheld the April 12, 2012, Fulton County Court conviction and sentence of 27-year-old Louis "Black" Robinson as a second felony offender.
His 18-year sentence stands, although appellate judges vacated his conviction for two counts of second-degree assault.
"I'm very pleased with the decision," Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said today.
Robinson was sentenced on 10 felony counts stemming from what Gloversville police said was the midday pistol-whipping and shooting of David Ortiz on Aug. 22, 2011, in the parking lot of Naif's Discount Beverage and Tobacco on North Main Street. Ortiz was shot in the face but survived.
In February 2012, a Fulton County jury found Robinson, an accomplice but not the shooter, guilty of two counts of second-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of criminal use of a firearm, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of second-degree assault and fourth-degree grand larceny. The most serious charges were first-degree robbery.
The Appellate Division decided to vacate the assault counts "as a lesser included offense."
Sira noted the decision seems consistent with the crime that occurred, as Robinson didn't actually assault Ortiz but "was a willing participant in the robbery."
Robinson's appellate attorney, Cynthia Feathers of Glens Falls, couldn't be reached this morning.
The jurists found that in their review of Robinson's case, "we accord great deference to the jury's conclusions regarding the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony"
The written decision added that Robinson "played an active role in planning and carrying out the robbery and physical attack upon the victim."
Even though Robinson did not have a gun or physically hit the victim, the jury believed Robinson knew the two men he drove to meet Ortiz - 25-year-old Codie Hayward and 28-year-old Edwin Pastor - had guns and intended to rob him at gunpoint.
Pastor, who previously pleaded guilty to a charge in the case, hit Ortiz in the face three times with a gun, and on the third time, the gun went off during the altercation in the parking lot of Naif's, according to trial testimony.
Andrew "Drew" Rosario, 35, of 14 Grove St., Gloversville, and Richard A. Sanchez, 25, of 69 W. Fulton St., Gloversville, were also charged in the case.
According to testimony from Hayward and Pastor, Rosario paid the two men and Robinson with cocaine and cash for robbing Ortiz.
Robinson saw Ortiz driving the rented white Chevrolet Suburban on Judson Street the day of the robbery and shooting, made arrangements to meet Ortiz at Naif's, where Ortiz said he was going to buy cigarettes, and picked up Hayward and Pastor, who exchanged guns provided by Rosario, according to testimony.
Ortiz knew Hayward and Robinson, but he did not know Pastor, who pulled a small-caliber handgun on him. After the men robbed Ortiz, Pastor shot him, according to testimony.
Ortiz staggered to the front of Naif's with a gunshot wound to the nose while Robinson drove the three men away in a gold Mercury that was borrowed from a friend and later recovered by police in Amsterdam.