Robbery - Theft

Finger-gun robber won't get out of his conviction

An appeals court decided not to change a robber's conviction even though it was his hand, not a firearm, under his hoodie.

An appeals court decided not to change a robber's conviction even though it was his hand, not a firearm, under his hoodie.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

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.

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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.

This story originally appeared in Newser.