Court on Tour at Fairfield University
The Connecticut Appellate Court will
travel to the Kelley Theatre of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
at Fairfield University on Friday, October 17,
2003, to hear three criminal cases before an audience that
will include students from Fairfield College Preparatory School and
Fairfield University. Chief Judge William J. Lavery, Judge Anne C.
Dranginis, and Judge C. Ian McLachlan will hear the cases.
Chief Judge Lavery, a graduate of both
Fairfield College Preparatory School and Fairfield University, said he
looked forward to helping students understand the appellate process in
Connecticut. "We believe that this session will provide them with the
opportunity to see how the court works," Judge Lavery added.
The Court's appearance at Fairfield
University is part of an ongoing educational initiative of the
Connecticut Judicial Branch to acquaint students, educators, and the
general public with the role and responsibilities of the court system.
Fairfield College Preparatory School
Principal Robert Perrotta, who helped coordinate the event, said, "We
are very pleased with the opportunity to sponsor the hearing of three
cases by the Connecticut Appellate Court. This is a wonderful
opportunity to teach our students about the inner workings of the
Dr. Perrotta, who also is an attorney,
added that attorneys from the Bridgeport chapter of the Connecticut Bar
Association will visit the preparatory school before the actual court
hearing. The attorneys will give junior and senior students an overview
of the judicial process in Connecticut, the part the Appellate Court
plays in the process, and an overview of the cases that will be heard.
The first case, State of Connecticut vs.
Ricardo Mills, will be heard at 10 a.m. The defendant was convicted
following a fight that led to the death of another man in Waterbury on
September 16, 1996. Mr. Mills has appealed that conviction, contending
that the trial court erred when it prohibited the jury from hearing
about the victim's prior convictions.
The second case, to be heard at 11 a.m.,
is State of Connecticut vs. Kathleen Wyatt. Ms. Wyatt was convicted
following her role in a collision that killed a motorcyclist on October
24, 1999, in Wallingford. On appeal, the defendant questions, among
other issues, the propriety of the admission of the tests used to
establish her blood-alcohol content.
The third case, State of Connecticut vs.
Guadalupe Leon-Zazueta, will be heard at 1 p.m. The defendant is
appealing his conviction for possessing illegal drugs and claims that
there was insufficient evidence that the drugs found in a Meriden
residence were possessed by him.
In all three cases, the defense and the
prosecution will each have 20 minutes to present their case. The judges
will not decide the cases from the bench; typically several weeks elapse
between arguments and the court's decision on a case.
Metal detectors will be set up at the
entrance to the Quick Center. To facilitate the screening process, it is
recommended that guests not bring laptop computers, briefcases,
backpacks, pocketbooks, or bags. Seats are available for the general
For information, contact Rhonda Stearley-Hebert,
Manager of Communications, at 860-757-2270.