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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3044

SC19778 - State v. Tierinni (Sexual assault second degree; risk of injury to child; "We granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following questions: (1) "Did the Appellate Court properly conclude that the defendant waived his right to be present at critical stages of the criminal proceedings during arguments on evidentiary objections?" And (2) "If the answer to the first question is `no,' did the trial court's approach to handling evidentiary objections constitute structural error as a violation of the defendant's right to be present during critical stages of the criminal proceedings?" State v. Tierinni, 323 Conn. 904, 150 A.3d 681 (2016).

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties before this court, we have determined that the judgment of the Appellate Court should be affirmed. We conclude that the Appellate Court's decision fully addresses the first certified question, as reformulated in this opinion—namely, its conclusion that the defendant had waived any claim regarding his presence at the sidebar conferences by agreeing to the trial court's procedure for handling arguments on evidentiary objections. It would, therefore, serve no purpose for us to repeat the discussion contained in the Appellate Court's decision. Because we answer the first certified question in the affirmative, we do not reach the second question.")

AC39105 - State v. White (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "This case turns on the issue of the appropriate role of assigned counsel in the context of a motion to correct an illegal sentence following State v. Casiano, 282 Conn. 614, 922 A.2d 1065 (2007). The defendant, Antuan White, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) declining to appoint counsel to represent him on the merits; (2) denying his motion on the merits; and (3) deciding the merits of the motion to correct, despite having previously considered the merits of the issues during the hearing regarding the appointment of counsel. We disagree and affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC39169 - State v. Wynne (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; "The defendant, Paul Wynne, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; and (2) the court abused its discretion in admitting the testimony of the state's expert on drug recognition. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39474 - State v. Papineau (Assault in first degree; conspiracy to commit assault in first degree; "The defendant, Michael J. Papineau, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of assault in the first degree with a dangerous instrument in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (1) and 53a-48. The defendant claims (1) that the trial court erroneously precluded his half brother from testifying about a phone conversation that transpired between the defendant and the defendant's former wife; (2) that the court erroneously precluded him from presenting testimony from the defendant's mother that, prior to the events at issue, he planned to travel to Massachusetts; (3) the court erroneously admitted a printout of text messages that the state failed to authenticate; and (4) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3042

SC19810 - State v. Jordan (Assault second degree; self-defense; motion to preclude evidence; certification from Appellate Court; "The primary question we must answer in this certified appeal is whether a criminal defendant claiming self-defense is barred as a matter of law from introducing the victim's convictions for crimes of violence as evidence that the victim initiated the confrontation with the defendant when the conduct giving rise to the victim's convictions occurred subsequent to the charged incident. The defendant, Brian W. Jordan, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed his judgment of conviction of assault in the second degree. State v. Jordan, 166 Conn. App. 35, 48, 140 A.3d 421 (2016). We agree with the Appellate Court that, although the trial court improperly determined that such evidence is inadmissible as a matter of law, the defendant has failed to prove that such error ultimately was harmful.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3034

AC39336 - State v. Bischoff (Possession of narcotics; possession of less than four ounces of cannabis-type substance; "The defendant, Haji Jhmalah Bischoff, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial in the judicial district of Fairfield, on charges of possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 21a-279 (a) and possession of less than four ounces of a cannabis-type substance (marijuana) in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 21a-279 (c). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of possession of narcotics; (2) the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury, as he requested, on third-party culpability as a defense to possession of narcotics; and (3) if his conviction of possession of narcotics is upheld, this case must be remanded for resentencing because his seven year sentence on that offense exceeds the one year statutory maximum for that offense, as it was retroactively reclassified after his arrest but before his conviction and sentencing in this case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39391 - State v. Ortiz (Possession of sawed-off shotgun; possession of weapon in motor vehicle; "The defendant, Monday J. Ortiz, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court following a plea of nolo contendere to the charges of possession of a sawed-off shotgun in violation of General Statutes § 53a-211 and possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 29-38 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless search of his vehicle. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40606 - State v. Ramos (Manslaughter in first degree with firearm; "The defendant, Abimael Ramos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of intentional manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-55 (a) (1) and 53a-55a. On appeal, he claims that (1) he was deprived of his rights to present a defense and to cross-examine witnesses, pursuant to the sixth amendment to the federal constitution, when the trial court prevented him from questioning police officers about alleged inadequacies in their investigation of the victim's death, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence, under the state of mind exception to the hearsay rule, testimony regarding the victim's relationship with the defendant prior to her death. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40239 - State v. Corver (Attempt to commit murder; assault in first degree; kidnapping in first degree; "The defendant, John Corver, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of three counts of attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-54a, two counts of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), and one count of kidnapping in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-92 (a) (2) (A). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in denying a request to discharge his legal counsel and (2) his conviction must be reversed because he did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his right to a jury trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3024

AC37523 - State v. Crosby (Robbery in first degree; larceny in third degree; "The defendant, Darren Matthew Crosby, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (4) and larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2007) § 53a-124 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in denying his motions to dismiss and his motion to suppress, and improperly concluded that (1) the state and the Massachusetts Department of Correction did not violate his rights under article IV, § 2, clause 2, of the United States constitution and the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), General Statutes § 54-186 et seq.; (2) the state's delay in executing an arrest warrant against him did not violate his due process rights; (3) the witnesses' identification of him from a photographic array was not the product of an unreliable identifiable procedure; and (4) the jury charge on eyewitness identification was sufficient. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3020

AC39463 - State v. Hearl (Cruelty to animals; "The defendant, Michael A. Hearl, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, on nineteen counts of animal cruelty in violation of General Statutes § 53-247 (a). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction, (2) the trial court did not provide the jury with a proper instruction on the required mental state to prove a violation of § 53-247 (a), (3) § 53-247 (a) is unconstitutionally vague as applied to his conduct, and (4) his conviction and sentencing on nineteen separate counts of animal cruelty violates the constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3004

AC40553 - State v. Brown (Murder; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Montrell Brown, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court erred by providing inadequate jury instructions regarding eyewitness testimony and identification reliability, although his counsel did not make any request for such an instruction. Because the issue was not raised or preserved at trial, the defendant requests that this court reverse his convictions either pursuant to the plain error doctrine or by the exercise of our inherent supervisory powers over the administration of justice. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40677 - State v. Holmes (Felony murder; home invasion; conspiracy to commit home invasion; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The self-represented defendant, Evan J. Holmes, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims, in essence, that the court erroneously denied his motion to correct by finding that his sentence for felony murder had been based on the predicate offense of burglary, which the court had vacated pursuant to State v. Polanco, 308 Conn. 242, 245, 61 A.3d 1084 (2013). We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39745 - State v. Dijmarescu (Breach of peace in second degree; "The defendant, Gheorghe Dijmarescu, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his sixth amendment right to counsel by improperly granting his attorney's motion to withdraw, (2) improperly admitted evidence of his uncharged misconduct, and (3) violated his right against self-incrimination by not canvassing him before he elected to testify. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2996

AC40395 - State v. Bennett (Motion to correct illegal sentence; motion to dismiss; "The defendant, Erick Bennett was found guilty by a jury on the charge of murder on June 29, 2011, and was later sentenced on that charge, on August 26, 2011, to a term of fifty years imprisonment. He now appeals from the subsequent judgment of the trial court dismissing three postjudgment motions to dismiss the information on which he was convicted of murder, and dismissing in part and denying in part his contemporaneous motion to correct an illegal sentence in relation to the sentence imposed on him for that offense, which he filed and prosecuted during the pendency of his ultimately unsuccessful direct appeal. State v. Bennett, 324 Conn. 744, 155 A.3d 188 (2017). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39355 - State v. Hall (Manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Jeffrey W. Hall, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly declined to provide the jury with an instruction on the duty to retreat. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2988

AC40157 - State v. Lamantia (Interfering with officer; tampering with witness; sufficiency of evidence; "The defendant, Jasmine Lamantia, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151. On appeal, the defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction for these offenses. We agree with the defendant with respect to the interfering with an officer count, but disagree as to the tampering with a witness count. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38863 - State v. Abraham (Sexual assault in second degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Joseph Abraham, was convicted, after a jury trial, of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly admitted a DVD recording of the victim's forensic interview. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")

AC41018 - State v. Raynor (Murder; "The defendant, Donald Raynor, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly denied the defendant's motion in limine to exclude or limit the scope of the testimony of the state's expert witness on firearm and toolmark identification, and (2) abused its discretion by granting the state's motion for uncharged misconduct related to a shooting that occurred approximately eight months after the events of this case. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2977

AC39140 - State v. Grajales (Assault in first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Luis A. Grajales, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (5) and one count of carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35. He claims that the court improperly instructed the jury on consciousness of guilt because the evidence does not reasonably support a finding of flight. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40082 - State v. Vega (Murder; home invasion; burglary in first degree; attempt to commit murder; attempt to commit assault in first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Miguel A. Vega, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of the following six offenses: (1) murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a); (2) home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (2); (3) burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3); (4) attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-54a; (5) attempt to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53-59 (a) (5); and (6) carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by admitting out-of-court statements as spontaneous utterances pursuant to § 8-3 (2) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence; (2) abused its discretion by excluding a letter that contained statements that were against the author's penal interest; and (3) improperly admitted hearsay statements from an unavailable witness in violation of his sixth and fourteenth amendment right to confrontation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40248 - State v. Turner (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; "The defendant, Tyquan Turner, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims: (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree; (2) the trial court improperly admitted documentary and testimonial evidence regarding cell phone coverage maps in violation of his federal due process right to a fair trial; (3) prosecutorial improprieties during the state's closing and rebuttal arguments deprived him of his right to a fair trial; and (4) the trial court improperly instructed the jury with respect to robbery in the first degree. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38674 - State v. Stephenson (Failure to appear in first degree; possession of narcotics; engaging police in motor vehicle pursuit; falsely reporting incident in second degree; interfering with officer; "The defendant, Larry Lamar Stephenson, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, on charges of failure to appear in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-172 (a) (1); possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a); engaging police in a motor vehicle pursuit in violation of General Statutes § 14-223 (b); falsely reporting an incident in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-180c (a) (1); and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion and deprived him of his sixth amendment right to counsel by denying his request for a recess to discuss with his attorney the terms of a plea deal offered by the court; and (2) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction of possession of narcotics. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2972

SC19818 - State v. Porter (Assault of public safety personnel; interfering with officer; possession of narcotic substance; "The sole question presented in this appeal is whether a court may look to the evidence presented at trial when determining if a defendant's conviction violated the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. The defendant, Kenneth Porter, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his judgment of conviction, following a jury trial, of assault of public safety personnel in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (1) and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a. State v. Porter, 167 Conn. App. 281, 283–84, 142 A.3d 1216 (2016). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court could review only the charging documents when determining whether his conviction of both charges violated the prohibition on double jeopardy and that it improperly looked to the evidence presented at trial to make that determination. The state counters that State v. Schovanec, 326 Conn. 310, 163 A.3d 581 (2017), permits the review of evidence in double jeopardy analysis for the limited purpose of deciding whether the offenses stem from the same act or transaction, and that it was proper for the Appellate Court to consider evidence in that analysis. We agree with the state that the Appellate Court properly considered the evidence presented at trial and, accordingly, affirm its judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2965

AC39039 - State v. Kukucka (Strangulation in first degree; sexual assault in third degree; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Dale Kukucka, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of strangulation in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64aa (a) (1) (B), sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (1), and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) failed to inquire into a potential conflict of interest between him and his defense counsel due to the existence of a grievance filed against defense counsel by the defendant and (2) denied his motion to suppress the in-court and out-of-court identifications of him made by a witness to the assault. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40020 - State v. Artiaco (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, William A. Artiaco, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in precluding the testimony of his expert witness and (2) he was deprived of a fair trial due to prosecutorial impropriety during closing argument. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2950

AC39506 - State v. Liebenguth (Breach of peace in second degree; tampering with witness; "The defendant, David G. Liebenguth, was convicted, following a bench trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (5) and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151. The charges were filed in connection with an angry confrontation between the defendant and a parking authority officer who had issued him a parking ticket, and a subsequent e-mail from the defendant to the officer's supervisor, suggesting why the officer should not appear in court to testify against him. The defendant now appeals, claiming that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of either charge. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40233 - State v. Rivera (Capital felony; conspiracy to commit murder; "The defendant, Angel Rivera, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of capital felony, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) §§ 53a-54b (7) and 53a-8 (a), and conspiracy to commit murder, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-48 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by declining to admit certain oral statements under the residual exception to the hearsay rule. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38888 - State v. Andaz (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Dave Andaz, also known as David Polek, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that his due process right to fair notice of the charges against him was violated by the state's filing of a substitute information changing the underlying basis for his violation of probation six days prior to his probation revocation hearing. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2949

SC19708 - State v. Cushard (Robbery first degree; assault first degree; burglary first degree; "In this certified appeal, we consider whether the defendant is entitled to a new trial following an allegedly inadequate waiver of the right to counsel. The defendant, Robert Cushard, was charged with crimes stemming from the robbery of an antiques dealer in New Hartford. Several months before his trial, the defendant moved to discharge his appointed public defender and to represent himself. The trial court granted the motion after canvassing the defendant about his decision. About four months later, the trial court canvassed the defendant a second time about whether he wanted to represent himself, and the defendant maintained that he did. After a trial, a jury found him guilty of certain crimes in connection with the robbery, and the trial court rendered judgment consistent with the verdict.

The defendant appealed from the judgment of conviction to the Appellate Court, claiming in part that his initial waiver of the right to counsel was not knowing and voluntary because the first canvass was inadequate and that he was thus deprived of his sixth amendment right to counsel. He argued that a new trial was mandated as a remedy for this alleged sixth amendment violation without the need to show any harm. The Appellate Court agreed that the first canvass was deficient but declined to grant a new trial. State v. Cushard, 164 Conn. App. 832, 840, 137 A.3d 926 (2016). Instead, the Appellate Court concluded that the error in the first canvass was subject to harmless error analysis. Id., 855. According to that court, reversing the judgment was unnecessary because the defendant's lack of counsel before trial was harmless inasmuch as he was canvassed a second time, before trial, and maintained his choice to represent himself; therefore, the defendant had failed to identify any harm flowing from his earlier, inadequate waiver of the right to counsel that rendered his trial fundamentally unfair. Id., 855–57.

We do not consider whether the defendant had knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to counsel after the first canvass because we agree with the Appellate Court that any error in the court's acceptance of his waiver of the right to counsel following that canvass was subject to harmless error review and was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt as a result of the second, adequate canvass. We therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2943

AC40232 - State v. Davis (Sexual assault in second degree; delivery of alcohol to minor; "The defendant, Jarah Micah Davis, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (3) and one count of delivery of alcohol to a minor in violation of General Statutes § 30-86 (b) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence admitted at trial was not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim was physically helpless within the meaning of General Statutes § 53a-65 (6) as required for a conviction of sexual assault in the second degree, and (2) the trial court improperly denied his pretrial motion to dismiss the second count of the state's substitute information charging him with sexual assault in the second degree. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39072 - State v. Bagnaschi (Breach of peace in second degree; "The defendant, Mary E. Bagnaschi, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support her conviction, (2) the trial court improperly denied her request for a probable cause hearing, (3) the court improperly denied her motion to dismiss, which was based on her assertion that she was unlawfully arrested in her home without a warrant, (4) the court improperly violated her constitutional right to present a defense and (5) the court improperly failed to recuse itself. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")

AC38880 - State v. Frazier (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor; "The defendant, John A. Frazier, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1). Additionally, following a plea of nolo contendere, the defendant was convicted under a part B information of being a second offender in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (g) (2). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to prove his guilt under § 14-227a (a) (1), (2) the trial court improperly admitted certain evidence in the state's case, and (3) the court infringed on his right to testify. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2937

AC40234 - State v. Swilling (Kidnapping in first degree; home invasion; assault in second degree; "The defendant, Ricardo Swilling, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of kidnapping in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-92 (a) (2) (A), home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (2), and assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2). Additionally, following the defendant's pleas of nolo contendere, the defendant was convicted of two counts of being a persistent dangerous felony offender in violation of General Statutes § 53a-40 (a) (1), as alleged in part B informations that were related to the kidnapping and home invasion charges. The defendant claims that (1) the trial court violated his due process right to a fair and impartial trial by questioning two witnesses during the state's case-in-chief, (2) the court improperly permitted the victim to make an in-court identification of him absent a showing that she previously had made a nonsuggestive out-of-court identification of him, (3) the court improperly admitted evidence of his prior felony convictions, (4) the court improperly admitted a recording of a 911 call made by the victim, and (5) the cumulative effect of the court's errors deprived him of his right to a fair and impartial trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40238 - State v. Small (Murder; burglary in first degree; larceny in third degree; larceny in fourth degree; stealing firearm; criminal possession of firearm; sale of narcotics; possession of narcotics; "The defendant, Carl Small, was convicted, after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (2), larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-124 (a) (1), larceny in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-125 (a), stealing a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-212, criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), sale of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (a), and possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of criminal gangs; (2) he was deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial by prosecutorial improprieties; and (3) the court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a new trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2925

AC40398 - State v. Smith (Motion to correct illegal sentence; kidnapping in first degree; felony murder; robbery in first degree; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Jeffrey Smith, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion. Specifically, the defendant claims that his sentence violates his fifth amendment protection against double jeopardy, which is applied to the states through the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution. The defendant also argues that the principles our Supreme Court established in State v. Polanco, 308 Conn. 242, 61 A.3d 1084 (2013), and State v. Miranda, 317 Conn. 741, 120 A.3d 490 (2015), should be applied retroactively to the circumstances of his case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38647 - State v. Hudson (Conspiracy to commit assault in first degree; "The defendant, Anthony Hudson, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered against him following a jury trial on the charge of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-59 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. We disagree, and thus affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39335 - State v. Louis D. (Criminal possession of firearm; criminal violation of protective order; "The defendant, Louis D., appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts of criminal violation of a protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223 (a) and one count of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes (Supp. 2014) § 53a-217 (a) (4) (A) arising out of three separate informations. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) consolidated the three informations for trial, and (2) denied his motion for a judgment of acquittal. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2918

AC39723 - State v. Angel M. (Sexual assault in first degree; attempt to commit sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Angel M., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-70 (a) (2), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erred by admitting uncharged sexual misconduct evidence, (2) the prosecutor engaged in impropriety that deprived him of the constitutional right to a fair trial, and (3) the trial court violated his right to due process at sentencing by penalizing him for exercising his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Although we agree with the defendant that one of the prosecutor's comments was improper, we, nevertheless, conclude that the defendant was not deprived of his due process right to a fair trial. We reject the defendant's other claims, and we, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39797 - State v. Walker (Felony murder, manslaughter in first degree with firearm, attempt to commit robbery in first degree; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The defendant, Eugene L. Walker, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c; manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55a (a); attempt to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-134 (a) (2); and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his right to confrontation by permitting a laboratory analyst to testify regarding a known DNA sample processed by another analyst in the same laboratory; (2) violated his right to due process when it declined to either strike certain testimony or grant the defendant's motion for a mistrial; (3) erred in admitting certain testimony under the coconspirator exception to the hearsay rule; (4) erred in denying his motion to sever his trial from that of his codefendant; (5) erred in admitting certain evidence at trial; and (6) violated double jeopardy by convicting him of both manslaughter and felony murder. We affirm the judgment in part, and we reverse the judgment in part.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1913

AC39690 - State v. Smith (Sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in second degree; "The defendant, Ronald G. Smith, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A),six counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), six counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (1), two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), and three counts of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant, relying upon Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 96 S.Ct. 2240, 48 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1976), claims that the state violated his constitutional right to remain silent when it introduced evidence of the defendant’s post-Miranda silence. We conclude that any claimed error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC40059 - State v. Soyini (Murder as accessory; conspiracy to commit murder; "The defendant, Quan Soyini, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of being an accessory to murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a and 53a-8 and conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a and 53a-48. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction of both crimes, (2) the court’s improper jury instructions violated his right to a fair trial and (3) the court committed plain error by giving a special credibility instruction on accomplice testimony, which was unwarranted in this case. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1904

AC39844 - State v. Daniel W. ("The defendant, Daniel W., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of six counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2); five counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2); one count of attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-70 (a) (2) and 53a-49; one count of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A); one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1); one count of conspiracy to commit risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes §§ 53-21 (a) (2) and 53a-48; and one count of attempt to commit risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes §§ 53-21 (a) (2) and 53a-49. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of his prior misconduct; (2) the trial court improperly allowed a constancy of accusation witness to testify as an expert regarding delayed disclosure; and (3) the prosecutor committed improprieties that deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39400 - State v. Lima ("The defendant, Evandro M. Lima, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to vacate his conviction following his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-125b. The defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion because, under General Statutes § 54-1j, the court was required but failed to ask the defendant whether he understood the possible immigration consequences of pleading guilty before accepting his plea. We agree with the defendant and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39808 - State v. Moore ("The defendant, Jerome F. Moore, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court incorrectly concluded that (1) the 2015 amendment to General Statutes § 21a-279 (a), which the legislature passed during a special session in June, 2015; see Public Acts, Spec. Sess., June, 2015, No. 15-2, § 1; does not apply retroactively to his sentence, and (2) his five year sentence does not violate the eighth amendment to the United States constitution or article first, §§ 8 and 9, of the Connecticut constitution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1895

AC38667 - State v. Robert S. (Criminal violation of protective order; sufficiency of evidence; "The defendant, Robert S., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of criminal violation of a protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to support his conviction, and (2) the trial court denied him due process by using, and denying him the opportunity to contest, unreliable information during sentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")

AC39613 - State v. Pecor (Robbery in second degree; "The defendant, Gary Alan Pecor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly determined that it did not have jurisdiction to address his motion to correct. He also claims that this court should find, as matter of law, that his sentence is illegal and remand the case to the trial court with direction to resentence him as he has requested. The state agrees that the trial court incorrectly dismissed the defendant's motion to correct, but argues that the defendant's claim of illegality is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The state asks this court to reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with instruction that the court deny the defendant's motion, or, in the alternative, that this court remand the case to the trial court for a hearing on the merits. We agree with the parties that the trial court erred in dismissing the defendant's motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We disagree, though, that res judicata precludes the defendant's claim. We also disagree with the defendant that we should address the merits of his claim on the basis of the record before us. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court, and remand the case for a hearing on the merits of the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence. ")

AC39781 - State v. Bobe (Sexual assault in second degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Anibal Bobe, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), and of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), and risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly admitted into evidence hearsay and double hearsay through the testimony of the victim. We conclude that any claimed error was harmless and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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