Nunez’s his­tory lim­ited for trial

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­tri­cia Doxsey pdoxsey@free­manon­ pat­ti­at­free­man on Twit­ter

Pros­e­cu­tors will not be al­lowed to delve into the rea­sons Dr. Gil­berto Nunez was con­victed of pos­sess­ing a forged in­stru­ment should he take the stand in his up­com­ing trial for in­sur­ance fraud, a judge has ruled.

Orange County Se­nior As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Maryellen Al­banese had hoped to ques­tion Nunez — a Kingston den­tist who was ac­quit­ted in June of mur­der­ing his lover’s hus­band — about the de­tails of his con­vic­tions as a way to call his cred­i­bil­ity into ques­tion when he

stands trial start­ing Oct. 17 in con­nec­tion with a fire at a build­ing he owned.

At the mur­der trial, Nunez was found guilty of two counts of pos­ses­sion of a forged in­stru­ment for hav­ing a fake CIA iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card on his com­puter and for giv­ing his for­mer lover a let­ter pur­port­ing to be from a CIA agent.

Nunez has not been charged with start­ing the fire that de­stroyed the build­ing at 381 Wash­ing­ton Ave. in Up­town Kingston, next to his den­tal of­fice, but has been charged with felony counts of fal­si­fy­ing busi­ness records, grand lar­ceny and in­sur­ance fraud in con­nec­tion with an al­legedly fraud­u­lent $8,400 in­sur­ance claim he filed as a re­sult of the blaze.

Ul­ster County Judge Don­ald A. Wil­liams ruled Wednes­day that if Nunez takes the stand, pros­e­cu­tors can ask him if he was con­victed of the prior crimes but not about the “un­der­ly­ing facts” of those con­vic­tions, be­cause Nunez plans to ap­peal his con­vic­tions once he’s sen­tenced.

Wil­liams said to let the pros­e­cu­tion delve into the rea­sons for the con­vic­tions while an ap­peal is pend­ing could re­sult in any con­vic­tions in the in­sur­ance fraud case be­ing over­turned.

Pros­e­cu­tors will be per­mit­ted to in­tro­duce into ev­i­dence the ini­tial ap­pli­ca­tion for in­sur­ance cov­er­age that Nunez filed, Wil­liams ruled, say­ing they are “highly rel­e­vant” to Nunez’s in­tent and “con­tain nec­es­sary back­ground in­for­ma­tion lead­ing up to the al­leged ac­tions.”

Pros­e­cu­tors claim that Nunez filed fraud­u­lent in­sur­ance claims fol­low­ing the Feb. 20, 2014, fire that de­stroyed the Wash­ing­ton Av­enue build­ing. His at­tor­neys, though, say their client did “ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong” and that the amount cited in the in­dict­ment rep­re­sents a “tiny frac­tion” of an oth­er­wise undis­puted claim for the build­ing.

Al­banese, ap­pointed spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor in the case, sub­mit­ted to the court a list of 36 po­ten­tial wit­nesses but said she prob­a­bly will call roughly 20 wit­nesses to the stand dur­ing the trial. Nunez’s at­tor­ney, Evan Lip­ton, did not say whether Nunez would take the stand.

Nunez was found not guilty on June 14 in the Novem­ber 2011 death of Thomas Kol­man.

Kol­man, 44, whose wife Linda was hav­ing an af­fair with Nunez, was found dead in his ve­hi­cle at a plaza in the town of Ul­ster, and pros­e­cu­tors al­leged Nunez poi­soned him with a den­tal seda­tive so that he could have Mrs. Kol­man to him­self. The de­fense said Nunez and Thomas Kol­man were best friends and that the den­tist had noth­ing to do with the death.

Wil­liams has said that he will not sen­tence Nunez on the forged in­stru­ment con­vic­tions un­til af­ter the den­tist stands trial for the charges re­lated to the as well as for charges of per­jury, of­fer­ing a false in­stru­ment for fil­ing and mak­ing an ap­par­ently sworn false state­ment in con­nec­tion to al­legedly fil­ing false in­for­ma­tion while ap­ply­ing for a pis­tol per­mit. Jury se­lec­tion for that trial is ex­pected to be­gin on Nov. 14.


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