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McCoy v. United States

September 27, 2001

STEVEN MCCOY, APPELLANT
v.
UNITED STATES, APPELLEE



Before Wagner, Chief Judge, and Terry and Washington, Associate Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Washington, Associate Judge

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Criminal Division (Hon. Robert I. Richter, Trial Judge)

Argued March 13, 2001

After a jury trial, appellant Steven McCoy was found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon *fn1 and possession of a prohibited weapon. *fn2 He filed a timely notice of appeal to this court arguing that:

1) there was insufficient evidence to sustain his convictions;

2) the trial court erred in not sua sponte interrupting the prosecutor during his closing and rebuttal arguments because his remarks about the credibility of the complaining witness were improper;

3) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his out-of-court identification by the complaining witness; and

4) that his convictions should be overturned because the trial court erred in certifying a photo array as part of the record on appeal, which was not the original photo array submitted to the trial court.

We affirm.

I.

Paige Lynette Harris was employed as a rehabilitation technician at the Washington Hospital Center in August of 1994. On August 27, 1994, Harris was walking down Georgia Avenue on her way home from work when she encountered two friends, Billy Houston and Dee Dee Woods. Harris stopped to speak with them and agreed to go with them for a visit. Harris went with Houston to an apartment building at 1000 Rittenhouse Street, while Woods went to the store. Once inside the building, Houston went to her apartment, and Harris waited for Woods on the stairwell landing between the second and third floors. There was a parade going on outside to commemorate "Georgia Avenue Day," and Harris stood by the window watching the festivities. Harris testified that the stairwell was somewhat dim, but the sun was shining outside, and the windows did not have curtains.

McCoy approached Harris and asked if she wanted to use his pipe to smoke some drugs. Harris declined, and McCoy went back up the stairs. After about a minute or two, McCoy grabbed Harris from behind, pointed a knife at her throat, and threatened to kill her. She testified that the knife was approximately seven to nine inches long with a brown handle and serrated edges. Harris testified that she did not know McCoy, but thought that he might have been attempting to rob her.

Harris began to tussle fervently with McCoy, while he continuously attempted to choke her. She testified that McCoy was pressing his thumbs to her windpipe, and she was struggling to breathe. At some point during the attack, McCoy pushed Harris down the stairs, and she bumped her head. After Harris had been struggling with McCoy for three to five minutes, Houston came onto the landing. At this point, McCoy was lying on top of Harris, choking her. Startled by Houston, McCoy fled, and the two women ran into Houston's apartment. Harris testified that she sustained injuries, and that she treated herself.

Harris did not report her attack by McCoy, but Metropolitan Police Detective Anthony C. McGinty became aware of Harris' attack in October of 1994, during a separate homicide investigation. Detective McGinty contacted Harris, and she recounted the details of her assault by McCoy. In addition, Harris offered a description of her assailant. She described him as a black male with a dark complexion, under five feet ten inches tall, with a thin, muscular build, and missing two front teeth. Harris also informed ...


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