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Burglary Conviction Overturned Due to Stenographer Errors

Posted on: August 5th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

victor_grimesA man serving a seven-year prison sentence for a burglary in Byron, NY was granted a new trial because of errors made when a court stenographer was unable to transcribe the final day of the man’s trial in 2016. We have posted about this before on CourtScribes regarding the difficulty some have had understanding African-American vernacular.

It is now the third time this year that a stenographer has caused problems for Genesee County Court cases.

Victor J. Grimes, 29, was convicted of second-degree burglary after a jury trial in 2016. He was sentenced in August of that year to a seven-year prison term because he was a second felony offender.

Grimes appealed the conviction and the sentence.

And with that, the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department unanimously reversed Grimes’ conviction and granted him a new trial.

The court ruled that an “absence of record proof” on the final day of the trial led to the reversal.

The situation revolved around two notes the jury handed to the judge during deliberations.

The court ruled that “Here the stenographer was unable to transcribe the final day of the trial that included County Court’s handling of the jury notes due to an error that rendered the subject electronic stenographic notes unrecoverable, and a reconstruction hearing failed to establish the court’s on-the-record handling of those notes.”

The court did reject other claims made by Grimes’ appeals attorney, including that the verdict was against the weight of evidence and that the sentence was unduly harsh and severe.

Grimes, who had a long criminal history, including convictions for dealing drugs, was accused of entering a house on Cockram Road in Byron in May 2013. He was arrested and charged with burglary two years later.

Grimes has been in prison since August 2016 and his earliest release date was February 2022.

It will be up to the District Attorney’s Office to decide whether the case should go to trial again or whether an agreement can be worked out with Grimes. is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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