Epps v. Poole, No. 10-2206 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Hearing that Warren had called him an insulting name, Darnell notified his friends to leave the area, entered the store, followed by his brother, Darryl. Darryl grabbed Warren and said “I told you to stay out of this store.” Darryl’s gun fired. Darnell drew his gun and pointed it at another. Darryl fired four more shots into Warren. After Darryl pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder, Darnell was convicted of second-degree depraved-indifference murder and sentenced to 17-1/2 years to life in prison, the same sentence received by his brother. The appellate court affirmed, finding the evidence sufficient to convict Darnell as an accomplice to depraved-indifference murder. Before the conviction became final, the New York supreme court reversed a depraved-indifference murder conviction based on accomplice liability where the attack on the victim was “quintessentially intentional.” State courts rejected a motion to vacate Darnell’s conviction. He filed a habeas corpus petition, 28 U.S.C. 2254. The district court denied the petition. The Second Circuit affirmed, noting that this was the fourth case to advance the “somewhat perverse argument” that petitioner should be released from custody because the evidence suggests he is more culpable than he was found to be.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 9, 2012.