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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3185

AC39605 - State v. Ruiz-Pacheco (Assault in first degree; attempt to commit murder; conspiracy to commit assault in first degree; "The defendant, Joesenier Ruiz-Pacheco, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of assault in the first degree as a principal in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), two counts of assault in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (1) and 53a-8, one count of attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54, and one count of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (1) and 53a-48. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) his conviction of the assault counts violates the double jeopardy clause; (2) the jury instructions on attempted murder were improper; (3) the court's repeated instruction that the jury should consider the lesser included offenses even if the state failed to disprove self-defense on the greater offenses misled the jury; and (4) he was deprived of a fair trial due to prosecutorial improprieties that affected the critical issues of self-defense and third-party culpability. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40554 - State v. Papantoniou (Felony murder; burglary in first degree; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Nicholas J. Papantoniou, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (1), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the state (1) violated his rights to be present at trial and to confront the witnesses against him under article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution when the prosecutor made a "generic tailoring" argument during closing remarks, and (2) violated his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial by committing prosecutorial improprieties. 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=3176

AC40252 - State v. Walcott (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Ijahmon Walcott, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and imposing a sentence of thirteen years incarceration, execution suspended after four years, with three years of probation. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion by relying on unproven facts when it revoked his probation and sentenced him during the dispositional phase of the violation of probation proceeding. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3164

SC19950 - State v. Taupier (Threatening first degree; breach of peace second degree; disorderly conduct; motion to dismiss; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the free speech provisions of the first amendment to the United States constitution and article first, §§ 4, 5 and 14, of the Connecticut constitution require the state to prove that a defendant has a specific intent to terrorize another person in order to sustain a conviction of threatening in the first degree under General Statutes § 53a-61aa (a) (3), which criminalizes threatening speech. The defendant, Edward Taupier, sent an e-mail containing threats of violence against a judge of the Superior Court, Elizabeth A. Bozzuto, to a group of acquaintances.The defendant now appeals from the judgment, rendered after a trial to the court, convicting him of threatening in the first degree in violation of § 53a-61aa (a) (3), two counts of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182 (a) (2), and breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to dismiss the charge of threatening in the first degree under § 53a-61aa (a) (3) on the ground that the statute is unconstitutional because it did not require the state to prove that he had the specific intent to terrorize Judge Bozzuto, (2) the trial court improperly considered evidence of events that occurred after he sent the threatening e-mail to support its conclusion that he violated that statute, and (3) the evidence was insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he violated §§ 53a-61aa (a) (3) and 53a-182 (a) (2). We disagree with the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40691, AC40824 - State v. Lugojanu (Conspiracy to commit home invasion; "The self-represented defendant, Laurentiu Lugojanu, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence under Practice Book § 43-22. The defendant claims that the trial court erred in not granting his motion because (1) his sentence exceeded the statutory limit for a class B felony, (2) there was a disparity between his sentence and the sentences received by the other participants in the underlying crime, and (3) the prosecutor vindictively increased the length of the defendant's recommended sentence under the plea deal offered to him after the defendant invoked his right to a jury trial. The state argues that the trial court properly dismissed the defendant's second and third claims in support of his motion to correct because it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over those claims pursuant to § 43-22. As for the defendant's first claim in support of his motion to correct, by contrast, the state contends that that claim should have been denied on the merits rather than dismissed because, although the claim was unfounded in law or in fact, it fell within the court's limited subject matter jurisdiction under § 43-22. We agree with the state and, thus, reverse the court's judgment of dismissal with respect to the defendant's first claim only and remand this case with direction to render judgment denying that claim on the merits. The court's judgment of dismissal is affirmed in all other respects.")

AC40555 - State v. Griffin (Arson in first degree; conspiracy to commit arson in first degree; insurance fraud; "The defendant, Madeline Griffin, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count each of the crimes of arson in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-100, 53a-111 (a) (3) and 53a-8 (a); conspiracy to commit arson in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a), 53a-100 and 53a-111 (a) (3); insurance fraud in violation of General Statutes § 53a-215 (a) (1); and insurance fraud in violation of General Statutes § 53a-215 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied her motion to suppress the pretrial and in-court identifications of her because they were the result of unnecessarily suggestive photographic arrays, and (2) the state presented insufficient evidence to convict her of arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and the insurance fraud charge pertaining to the homeowner's insurance policy of her mother. We agree with the defendant's second claim as it pertains to the insurance fraud count and, accordingly, reverse in part the trial court's judgment. We otherwise affirm the judgment.")

AC40093 - State v. Tyus (Murder; "The defendant, Gerjuan Rainer Tyus, appeals from the judgment of conviction, which was rendered against him after a jury trial, on the charge of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims (1) that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the state's motion to join his case for trial with that of his codefendant, Darius Armadore; (2) that he was deprived of his constitutional right to confrontation when the state's firearms examiner was permitted to testify regarding the findings of another firearms examiner, who was deceased, and thus unavailable to testify at trial; and (3) that the court erred in denying his request for a limiting instruction to the jury concerning the testimony of the state's firearms examiner. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3155

SC19649 - State v. Harris ("The sole issue presented by this appeal is whether the trial court deprived the defendant, Ernest Harris, of his right to due process under the federal and state constitutions when it denied his motion to suppress an out-of-court and subsequent in-court identification of him by an eyewitness to the crimes of which the defendant was convicted. The defendant was charged with felony murder and first degree robbery, among other crimes, after he and an accomplice, Emmitt Scott, allegedly robbed Ruben Gonzalez (victim) and Jose Rivera at gunpoint and Scott shot and killed the victim. The trial court denied the defendant's pretrial motion to suppress an identification that Rivera had made of the defendant while the defendant was being arraigned in an unrelated robbery case, as well as any in-court identification that Rivera might later be asked to make of the defendant. Following a trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of one count each of felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, and two counts of robbery in the first degree. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his due process rights under the federal constitution by denying his motion to suppress Rivera's out-of-court and in-court identifications of him because, contrary to the conclusion of the trial court, the former was the product of an unnecessarily suggestive procedure and neither was reliable. The defendant further claims that, even if the state's use of Rivera's out-of-court and in-court identifications did not violate his due process rights under the federal constitution, the admission of those identifications violated his due process rights under the state constitution, which, the defendant contends, are more protective than his federal due process rights. Although we agree with the defendant that the out-of-court identification procedure was unnecessarily suggestive, we also conclude that Rivera's identification of the defendant was nevertheless sufficiently reliable to satisfy federal due process requirements. Accordingly, for purposes of the federal constitution, the defendant was not entitled to suppression of those identifications. We further conclude that the due process guarantee of the state constitution in article first, § 8, provides somewhat broader protection than the federal constitution with respect to the admissibility of eyewitness identification testimony but that, in the present case, the trial court's failure to apply the state constitutional standard that we adopt today was harmless because the court reasonably could not have reached a different conclusion under that more demanding standard. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court."

AC40512 - State v. Carney ("The defendant, Jonathan W. Carney, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the sentencing court properly construed General Statutes § 17a-566 as limiting the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to a recommendation as to the appropriate place of confinement only and, therefore, properly declined to consider information provided by Whiting Forensic Division (Whiting) at the § 17a-566 hearing when it imposed the sentence; and (2) failed to conclude that the sentencing court relied on inaccurate information provided by Whiting. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40995 - State v. Durdek ("The defendant, Steven Robert Durdek, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (2), sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), arson in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-111 (a) (1), and tampering with physical evidence in violation of General Statutes § 53a-155 (a) (1). The defendant’s sole claim on appeal is that the trial court improperly restricted his cross-examination of a state’s witness by preventing him, for purposes of impeachment, from asking the witness about misconduct that he allegedly had committed as a juvenile. Because the defendant failed to make an offer of proof regarding how the witness would have responded to any question about the alleged misconduct, we conclude that the record is inadequate to review that claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3147

AC39522 - State v. Jackson (Sexual assault in first degree; unlawful restraint; collateral estoppel; double jeopardy; "The defendant, Jalenn Jackson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to the court, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly and in violation of the collateral estoppel component of the double jeopardy clause of the United States constitution admitted into evidence a portion of a witness' statement that the jury in his previous trial necessarily had rejected when it found the defendant not guilty on the charge of unlawful restraint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39852 - State v. Si (Negligent homicide with commercial motor vehicle; "The defendant, Lin Qi Si, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial, on the charge of negligent homicide with a commercial motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 14-222a (b). The defendant was tried on that charge under a long form information dated August 16, 2016, in which the state alleged that on December 5, 2012, he negligently operated a commercial motor vehicle at the intersection of Sandy Desert Road and Trading Cove Road on the premises of the Mohegan Sun Casino (casino) in Montville, and thereby caused the death of the decedent, Pui Ying Tam Li. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) failing to instruct the jury properly on the essential element of causation and (2) providing the jury with a copy of the jury charge during deliberations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3137

SC19846 - State v. Simpson (Murder; motion to withdraw plea; certification from Appellate Court; "This appeal presents us with a common scenario: a trial court accepts a guilty plea after a proper canvass, but the defendant subsequently seeks to withdraw the plea due to a change of heart. The question that often emerges from this familiar context is the extent to which the trial court must inquire into the defendant's request. In this case, the Appellate Court concluded that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to conduct (1) an evidentiary hearing on the defendant's motion to withdraw his plea, and (2) an adequate inquiry into the defendant's request for new counsel. The state appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of conviction of the defendant, Earl C. Simpson III, following his guilty plea entered under the Alford doctrine of murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-8. State v. Simpson, 169 Conn. App. 168, 171–72, 150 A.3d 699 (2016). The state claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court was required to hold hearings on the defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea and his request for new counsel. Alternatively, the state claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court did not conduct such hearings. The defendant counters that hearings on both the motion and the request were required, and that the Appellate Court properly concluded that the trial court failed to conduct them. We conclude that the trial court, after conducting a hearing on the defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, properly denied the motion to withdraw, and, therefore, no evidentiary hearing was required. We also conclude that, under the circumstances of this case, no hearing was required on his request for new counsel. Therefore, the judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed.")

AC39141 - State v. Covington (Carrying pistol without permit; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Jeffrey Covington, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35, and the judgment of conviction, rendered following a court trial, of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1). The defendant claims that (1) this court should vacate his conviction of carrying a pistol without a permit because the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for that offense; (2) this court should vacate his conviction of criminal possession of a firearm because, in finding guilt with respect to that offense, the court impermissibly contravened the jury's "verdict" with respect to murder and assault counts with which he also had been charged, thereby violating his right to a trial by jury and his right to a fair trial; and (3) this court should afford him a new sentencing hearing because, at the time of sentencing, the trial court impermissibly relied on facts that contravened the jury's "verdict" with respect to the murder and assault charges. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3134

SC19881 - State v. Evans (Sale of narcotics by person who is not drug dependent; whether trial court properly denied defendant's motion to correct illegal sentence; whether claim of illegal sentence under Apprendi v. New Jersey (530 U.S. 466) and Alleyne v. United States (570 U.S. 99) was sufficiently colorable to indulge presumption in favor of subject matter jurisdiction; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether our decision in State v. Ray, 290 Conn. 602, 966 A.2d 148 (2009), which would require the defendant in the present case, Alrick A. Evans, to prove drug dependency as an affirmative defense to a charge under General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 21a-278 (b), remains good law in light of (1) the subsequent decision of the United States Supreme Court in Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99, 133 S. Ct. 2151, 186 L. Ed. 314 (2013), and (2) the legislature's recent amendment of § 21a-278 (b) in No. 17-17, § 2, of the 2017 Public Acts (P.A. 17-17). The defendant appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) we should overrule our interpretation of § 21a-278 (b) in Ray, (2) under Alleyne, the state was required to prove his lack of drug dependency beyond a reasonable doubt because it is a fact that would result in an increased mandatory minimum sentence, and (3) the narcotics statutory scheme, which gives the prosecutor the sole authority to decide whether to proceed under § 21a-278 (b), rather than the otherwise identical General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 21a-277 (a), violates the separation of powers established by article second of the constitution of Connecticut, as amended by article eighteen of the amendments. The state contends to the contrary, and also argues that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the defendant's motion to correct because that motion challenged his underlying conviction, rather than his sentence. Although we conclude that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the defendant's motion to correct, we disagree with the merits of the defendant's claims and reaffirm Ray's holding that drug dependency under § 21a-278 (b) is an affirmative defense that, if proven, reduces a defendant's potential sentence. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

SC19880 - State v. Allan (Conspiracy to sell narcotics by a person who is not drug dependent; interfering with officer; whether trial court properly denied defendant's motion to correct illegal sentence; "This appeal is the companion case to State v. Evans, 329 Conn. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2018), which we also decide today. The defendant, Nemiah Allan, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that we should overrule State v. Ray, 290 Conn. 602, 966 A.2d 148 (2009), in which we interpreted General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 21a-278 (b) to render drug dependency an affirmative defense to be proven by the defendant because (1) it is no longer good law in light of the subsequent decision of the United States Supreme Court in Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99, 133 S. Ct. 2151, 186 L. Ed. 2d 314 (2013), and (2) it was wrongly decided as a matter of statutory interpretation. The defendant also argues that the narcotics statutory scheme, which gives the prosecutor the sole authority to decide whether to proceed under § 21a-278 (b), rather than the otherwise identical General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 21a-277 (a), violates the separation of powers established by article second of the Connecticut constitution, as amended by article eighteen of the amendments.The state contends to the contrary, and also argues that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the defendant's motion to correct because that motion failed to raise a colorable claim challenging his sentence. Although we conclude that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the defendant's motion to correct, we disagree with the merits of the defendant's claims. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court denying the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3116

AC39300 - State v. Harper (Conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; attempt to commit robbery in first degree as accessory; "The defendant, Marquis J. Harper, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of attempt to commit robbery in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 (a), 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-134 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction and (2) the court improperly declined to furnish a jury unanimity instruction requested by the defendant. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40846 - State v. Ezequiel R. (Aggravated sexual assault of minor; sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; sexual assault in fourth degree; "The defendant, Ezequiel R. R., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of aggravated sexual assault of a minor in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70c (a) (1), one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), three counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and one count of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) admitting into evidence a video recording of a forensic interview between a clinical child interview specialist and the child victim, and (2) allowing the clinical child interview specialist to render an expert opinion that appeared to be based on the facts of the case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")

AC40655 - State v. McKethan (Murder; carrying pistol without permit; possession of narcotics; motion for joinder; "The defendant, Dequan McKethan, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a), and possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly granted the state's motion for joinder of the two separate cases against him for trial. 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=3107

AC36586 - State v. Jerzy G. (Pretrial program of accelerated rehabilitation; sexual assault in fourth degree; motion to dismiss; "This case returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court with direction to consider the merits of the appeal of the deported defendant, Jerzy G. He challenges the trial court's rulings terminating his participation in the accelerated rehabilitation program and declining to dismiss the criminal charge against him. This court previously dismissed the appeal as moot under State v. Aquino, 279 Conn. 293, 901 A.2d 1194 (2006). State v. Jerzy G., 162 Conn. App. 156, 130 A.3d 303 (2015), rev'd, 326 Conn. 206, 162 A.3d 692 (2017). Holding that Aquino does not control the present case, our Supreme Court reversed this court's judgment and remanded the case to this court for further proceedings. State v. Jerzy G., 326 Conn. 206, 208–209, 226, 162 A.3d 692 (2017). The parties then filed supplemental briefs. We affirm the trial court's orders declining to dismiss the charge and terminating of probation.")

AC39432 - State v. Harris (Criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Jermaine Harris, was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, felony murder, robbery in the first degree, carrying a pistol without a permit and criminal possession of a firearm. He elected a jury trial except as to the latter most charge, which was tried to the court. The jury was unable to reach a verdict. The court, however, found the defendant guilty of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), and sentenced him to five years incarceration. He now appeals, claiming that (1) the court's finding of guilt and its sentence deprived him of his constitutional rights under the sixth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution, and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3102

SC19370 - State v. Roszkowski (Murder; capital felony; criminal possession of firearm; death sentence; "Following a jury trial, the defendant, Richard S. Roszkowski, was convicted of three counts of murder, in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), for the 2006 murders of Thomas Gaudet, Holly Flannery (Flannery), and Kylie Flannery (Kylie); one count of capital felony, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2005) § 53a-54b (7), for the coincident murders of Gaudet and Flannery; a second count of capital felony, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2005) § 53a-54b (8), for the murder of nine year old Kylie; and one count of criminal possession of a firearm, in violation of General Statutes (Supp. 2006) § 53a-217 (a) (1). In 2014, the defendant was sentenced to death for his second capital felony conviction. On appeal, the defendant contends that he should not have been subjected to a penalty phase hearing because (1) the imposition of capital punishment became unconstitutional in Connecticut following the legislature's prospective repeal of the death penalty in 2012; see Public Acts 2012, No. 12-5 (P.A. 12-5); and (2) the trial court improperly denied his request for a competency evaluation. He further contends that the trial court improperly merged his three murder convictions with the corresponding capital felony convictions. We conclude that the defendant's penalty phase challenges must be dismissed as either moot or unripe. We agree, however, that the defendant's murder convictions should have been vacated rather than merged. Accordingly, we dismiss in part the defendant's appeal and reverse in part 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=3094

AC39171 - State v. Ayala (Risk of injury to child; sexual assault in fourth degree; "The defendant, Walter Bobby Ayala, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of two counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A), and one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to disclose redacted portions of the victim’s mental health records following the court’s in camera review of the records pursuant to State v. Esposito, 192 Conn. 166, 471 A.2d 949 (1984), thereby violating his sixth and fourteenth amendment right to confrontation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40433 - State v. Jackson (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; assault in first degree; "The defendant, Raashon Jackson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), one count of conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a- 48 (a) and 53a-54a (a), and four counts of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a- 59 (a) (5). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court: (1) abused its discretion and deprived him of his rights to a fair trial and to present a defense when it denied his motion to preclude the testimony of the state’s belatedly disclosed expert witness and refused to afford him a continuance to retain his own expert, (2) abused its discretion in admitting the testimony of the state’s expert without conducting a Porter hearing, (3) abused its discretion and deprived him of his right to present a defense when it excluded exculpatory evidence in the form of his investigator’s testimony, (4) deprived him of his right to present a defense when it excluded exculpatory evidence regarding the discovery of a gun used in the crimes, and (5) abused its discretion in admitting certain consciousness of guilt evidence and instructing the jury as to that evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40125 - State v. Rogers (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; assault in first degree; "The defendant, Roderick Rogers, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a consolidated jury trial, of one count of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), one count of conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-54a (a), and four counts of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (5). On appeal, he claims that the trial court improperly (1) precluded the introduction of evidence that one of the firearms used in the shooting of the victims was eventually found in the possession of a third party, (2) excluded evidence of a text message conversation he claims was relevant to third-party culpability in violation of his right to present a defense pursuant to the sixth and fourteenth amendments to the federal constitution, and (3) admitted into evidence maps depicting the location of cell phones, and related testimony, without first conducting a Porter hearing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3082

SC19863 - State v. Norman P. (Sexual assault in spousal relationship; assault of elderly person second degree; assault of elderly person third degree; certification from Appellate Court; "The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the Appellate Court properly concluded that the trial court lacked discretion to refuse to mark records for identification following the court's determination that the defendant, Norman P., had failed to make the requisite showing to require an in camera review of those records. State v. Norman P., 169 Conn. App. 616, 639–40, 151 A.3d 877 (2016). We conclude that the trial court had no such discretion. This certified appeal arises from the defendant's conviction of three counts of sexual assault in a spousal relationship in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70b, one count of assault of an elderly person in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60b, and one count of assault of an elderly person in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61a.The state claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court had improperly declined to conduct an in camera review of the complainant's privileged records from Interval House, an organization that provides counseling and other services to domestic violence victims, and that the trial court also improperly declined to mark those records for identification. The state additionally challenges the Appellate Court's conclusion that, in declining to admit into evidence the defendant's entire written statement to the police, the trial court misinterpreted § 1-5 (b) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence and our relevant case law applying that rule. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court on the basis of our conclusion that the trial court improperly refused to mark for identification the complainant's privileged records from Interval House, and that the court further abused its discretion in declining to review those records in camera. Because the issue is likely to arise on remand, we also address the state's claim that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the defendant's entire written statement was admissible pursuant to § 1-5 (b). Although we agree with the Appellate Court that the trial court misinterpreted § 1-5 (b) and our relevant case law applying that rule, we disagree that the entire statement should have come into evidence pursuant to that rule. To the contrary, our application of § 1-5 (b) leads us to conclude that only a portion, rather than the entirety, of the defendant's prior statement should have been admitted.")

SC19518 - State v. Jan G. (Murder; assault of elderly person third degree; "The issue we must resolve in this appeal is whether the trial court's decision to allow the defendant to testify in narrative form caused him to be self-represented during his testimony without a proper waiver of his right to counsel. The defendant claims that State v. Francis, 317 Conn. 450, 452, 118 A.3d 529 (2015), wherein this court held that the defendant, Maurice Francis, was self-represented during his narrative testimony and that his waiver of the right to counsel was not voluntary, controls the present case and requires a new trial. Because of the factual distinctions between this case and Francis, however, we conclude that our decision in that case does not control the outcome of the present appeal. Instead, on the basis of our review of the facts and circumstances of the present case, we conclude that the defendant was not self-represented during his testimony and, therefore, is not entitled to a new trial. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38602 - State v. Taveras (Violation of probation; revocation of probation; whether words defendant used to express frustration with preschool staff member constituted fighting words or true threat under first amendment to United States constitution or under statute proscribing breach of peace in second degree (§ 53a-181 [a] [1] and [3]); "The defendant, Kerlyn M. Taveras, appeals from the judgments of the trial court finding him in violation of his probation and revoking his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32, following his arrest on a charge of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the state adduced insufficient evidence at his probation revocation hearing to establish a violation of probation. Central to the defendant's claim of insufficient evidence is whether the words he used spontaneously to express his frustration with his child's preschool staff, which formed the basis for his violation of probation, constituted "fighting words" or a "true threat," two forms of speech that are not protected by the first and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution. Under the facts and circumstances of the present case, we conclude that the defendant's speech did not constitute "fighting words" or a "true threat" and, for that reason, cannot be proscribed by § 53a-181 (a) consistent with the first amendment. We therefore agree with the defendant that the evidence adduced at his probation revocation hearing was insufficient to establish a violation of probation and, accordingly, reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand the cases with direction to render judgments in favor of the defendant.")

AC40254 - State v. Petitpas (Sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in second degree; sexual assault in fourth degree; unlawful restraint in second degree; risk of injury to child; motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Chad Petitpas, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence under Practice Book § 43-22. On appeal, the defendant claims that the sentencing court materially relied on inaccurate information pertaining to his age and criminal record. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Criminal Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3066

SC19588 - State v. Parnoff ("The defendant, Laurence V. Parnoff, uttered threatening words to two water company employees who had entered his property pursuant to an easement to service a fire hydrant—telling them, essentially, that if they did not leave his property, he would retrieve a gun and shoot them. As a result of his statement, the defendant was convicted after a jury trial of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182 (a) (1), which criminalizes intentionally or recklessly causing inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm by way of 'violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior . . . .' The defendant appealed to the Appellate Court from the judgment of conviction, arguing that, under principles stemming from the first amendment to the United States constitution, there was insufficient evidence to sustain a guilty verdict as to the disorderly conduct charge. State v. Parnoff, 160 Conn. App. 270, 274, 125 A.3d 573 (2015). Because the behavior giving rise to his conviction was pure speech and not physical violence, the first amendment forbids the imposition of criminal sanctions unless that speech amounts to so-called 'fighting words'—words that would cause a reasonable addressee to respond with imminent violence under the circumstances. (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Baccala, 326 Conn. 232, 234–35, 251, 163 A.3d 1, cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 510, 199 L. Ed. 2d 408 (2017); see also U.S. Const., amend. I. The Appellate Court reversed the judgment after concluding that the defendant's statement was not fighting words because, although inappropriate, the defendant's words were not likely to provoke an immediate and violent reaction from the water company employees. State v. Parnoff, supra, 281. We agree with the Appellate Court and affirm its judgment.")

AC40283 - State v. Baldwin ("The defendant, Lee Baldwin, appeals challenging the denial of his motion to modify the terms and conditions of his probation filed pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-30 (c). Specifically, he claims that (1) the court's denial violated his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination in a future proceeding and (2) the court abused its discretion in denying the motion to modify and not allowing the defendant to delay his sex offender treatment until his pending habeas action had concluded. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39126 - State v. Gerald A. ("The defendant, Gerald A., appeals from the judgment 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 three counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that: (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of one count of sexual assault in the first degree; (2) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of his prior misconduct; (3) the trial court improperly granted the state's motion for joinder of two separate cases against him; and (4) the trial court improperly denied his motion to make an opening statement to the jury. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40453 - State v. Morris ("The plaintiff in error, Dad's Bail Bonds, LLC, brings this writ of error challenging the judgment of the trial court denying its motion for release from surety obligations arising out of a $45,000 bond it had posted on behalf of the defendant in the underlying criminal case, Stanley Morris. After Morris failed to appear in court as required, the court ordered the bond forfeited. The plaintiff in error claims that the trial court violated its right to due process in numerous ways during the adjudication of its motion for release and that, pursuant to General Statutes § 54-65c, it was entitled to release from its surety obligation.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3063

SC19777 - State v. Castillo (Attempt to commit robbery first degree; attempt to commit robbery second degree; motion to suppress; certification from Appellate Court; "In this certified appeal, the defendant, William Castillo, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of attempt to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-134 (a) (3), and attempt to commit robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-135 (a) (1) (A). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court improperly (1) concluded that, during his in-home interrogation by the police, he was not in custody for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 478–79, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966), and (2) declined to exercise its supervisory authority "to adopt a new rule governing the admissibility of statements obtained during the interrogation of juveniles." State v. Castillo, 165 Conn. App. 703, 729, 140 A.3d 301 (2016). Because we conclude that the Appellate Court properly determined that the defendant was not in custody, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court. Interpreting the third certified question as a request by the defendant to exercise our supervisory authority to adopt his requested rule, we decline to do so.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3053

AC39825 - State v. Hudson (Criminal possession of firearm; altering firearm identification mark; "The defendant, Robert Lee Hudson III, appeals following the judgment of conviction, challenging only the sentence imposed on him by the trial court following his plea of guilty under the Alford doctrine to criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217 and altering the identification mark of a firearm in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 29-36. The defendant's plea was entered subject to a Garvin agreement. The sole issue on appeal is whether the court violated the defendant's right to due process when it found that he had violated the Garvin agreement without first conducting a hearing in accordance with State v. Stevens, 278 Conn. 1, 11–13, 895 A.2d 771 (2006), to determine whether probable cause existed to support the defendant's subsequent arrest, which was the basis of the violation. We conclude that the defendant's right to due process was not infringed and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39358 - State v. Fletcher (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Darryl Fletcher, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32 and sentencing him to a term of incarceration of eighteen months. The defendant claims that he is entitled to a new sentencing hearing because the court improperly relied on a fact that was not part of the record. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38776 - State v. Morice W. (Risk of injury to child; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Morice W., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial, on charges of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1) and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that he was deprived of a fair trial on those charges due to improper remarks by the prosecutor in her rebuttal closing argument. Although we agree that one of the prosecutor's challenged remarks was improper, we do not conclude that that remark deprived the defendant of a fair trial. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39744 - State v. Smith (Criminal possession of firearm; possession of weapon in motor vehicle; carrying pistol or revolver without permit; "The defendant, Jacqui Smith, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to a jury, of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 29-38 (a), and carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence from which the jury reasonably could have found him guilty of the three crimes. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39685 - State v. Dubuisson (Strangulation in second degree; "The defendant, Walker Wilner Dubuisson, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court, following a jury trial, on the charge of strangulation in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64bb. The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and (2) the trial court erred in admitting certain out-of-court statements by the victim under the spontaneous utterance exception to the hearsay rule. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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.")


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