Judicial District of Litchfield


      Criminal; Sentence Modification Pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-39 (b); Whether Court Abused its Discretion in Denying Motion for Sentence Modification.  The defendant, who was charged with participating in the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of a thirteen year old victim, pleaded guilty to felony murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit sexual assault.  As part of the plea agreement, the defendant agreed to a sentencing range of thirty-five to fifty years and was free to argue for a sentence within that range.  In January, 2005, he was sentenced to forty-seven years incarceration.  In 2006, the defendant and the state entered into a written agreement requiring the defendant to assist and testify for the state in the pending cases of two codefendants.  In return, the state agreed to consent to the defendant's filing a motion for a sentence review hearing pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-39 (b), which provides in relevant part that "at any time during the period of a definite sentence of more than three years, upon agreement of the defendant and the state's attorney to seek review of the sentence, the sentencing court or judge may, after hearing and for good cause shown, reduce the sentence. . . ."  Subsequently, the defendant assisted the prosecution and provided testimony at one codefendant's trial, which led to his conviction; the other codefendant pleaded guilty in her case.  At the hearing on the defendant's motion for sentence modification, the state informed the court that the defendant had provided probative evidence on all of the issues that were before the jury at the codefendant's trial.  The court denied the motion, concluding that the defendant's sentence was fair and reasonable based on the nature of the crime.  On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion, or failed to exercise it, by not addressing or considering any issues related to his postsentencing cooperation.