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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=3277

AC39995 - State v. Greene (Manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Antoine Greene, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) denying his motion to dismiss after the court's finding of no probable cause for the state's initial charge of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, and (2) denying his motions for a judgment of acquittal and for a new trial on the basis that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that he intended to cause serious physical injury to the victim. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC41288 - State v. Brett B. (Murder; violation of standing criminal protective order; "The defendant, Brett B., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and one count of violating a standing criminal protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223a (a). The defendant claims on appeal that (1) he was denied his right to a fair trial because the prosecutor committed improprieties during closing argument by (a) misrepresenting to the jury that certain DNA found at the crime scene belonged to the defendant despite testimony from the state's DNA expert that the defendant was only a possible contributor, and (b) misleading the jury regarding foot impression evidence; and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by admitting into evidence previously undisclosed opinion testimony from the state's forensic expert that a bloodstain found on a tissue at the crime scene appeared to be caused by a finger rather than by blood spatter, which, if credited, tended to implicate the defendant as the perpetrator. We reject the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3270

AC40477 - State v. Barjon (Robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; robbery in second degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in second degree; "The defendant, Jean Barjon, 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) (2), conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2), robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-135 (a) (1), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree in violation of § 53a-48 and General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-135 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his right to conflict free counsel under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40694 - State v. Davis (Violation of probation; motion to dismiss; motion for continuance; "The defendant, Frederick M. Davis, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and committing him to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for nine years. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly denied his motion to dismiss predicated on an alleged lack of jurisdiction, (2) violated his constitutional right to be present at a critical stage of the probation revocation proceeding, and (3) improperly denied his request for a continuance. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3268

AC40439 - State v. Mark T. ("The defendant, Mark T., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding relevant evidence, and thereby violated his constitutional right (1) to present a defense and (2) to testify in his own defense. We disagree and, therefore, 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=3257

AC40031 - State v. Washington (Conspiracy to commit home invasion; attempt to commit home invasion; attempt to commit robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; attempt to commit assault in first degree; "The defendant, Trajuan A. Washington, appeals from the judgment of conviction that was rendered against him, upon the verdict of a jury in the Hartford Superior Court, on charges of conspiracy to commit home invasion in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-100aa (a) (2) and attempt to commit home invasion in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-100aa (a) (2). The defendant was tried under an amended information dated May 2, 2016, in which the state alleged, in relevant part, that on February 19, 2014 (1) he conspired to commit home invasion by agreeing with one or more persons to enter a dwelling at 33 Seyms Street in Hartford with the intent to commit a crime therein, while he was armed with a deadly weapon and another person not participating in the crime was actually present inside the dwelling, and (2) he attempted to commit home invasion by intentionally taking a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in the commission of home invasion, while acting with the mental state required for the commission of that offense. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of conspiracy to commit home invasion and attempt to commit home invasion, and (2) the trial court erred in instructing the jury on a common essential element of conspiracy to commit home invasion and attempt to commit home invasion by repeatedly substituting the word building for the term dwelling in its final instructions describing those offenses. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39628 - State v. Spring (Strangulation in second degree; assault in third degree; "The primary issue in this appeal involves the admissibility at trial of the defendant's written statement, which was made during an unrecorded custodial interrogation at the Enfield police station.The defendant, Christopher M. Spring, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of strangulation in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64bb (a) and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court erred when it granted the state's motion to admit his statement, which was taken in violation of General Statutes § 54-1o, during an unrecorded custodial interrogation, because the state failed to prove that the statement was both voluntarily given and reliable under the totality of the circumstances, as required by § 54-1o (h), (2) the court abused its discretion when it overruled an objection made by the defendant regarding an inaccurate argument made by the state about the defendant's statement, and (3) this court should exercise its supervisory authority over the administration of justice by ordering a new trial in this case and by requiring the judges of our Superior Court to instruct juries in a particular manner when faced with statements or confessions obtained during unrecorded custodial interrogations that violate § 54-1o. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40879 - State v. Farrar (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The self-represented defendant, Chad Lamar Farrar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that the sentence imposed on him for a term of incarceration followed by a period of special parole was authorized by statute and, therefore, was not illegal. 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=3249

AC40656 - State v. Manuel T. (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; sexual assault in second degree; sexual assault in fourth degree; "The defendant, Manuel T., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), four counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), two counts of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), and one count of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (E). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) admitted into evidence a video recording of the diagnostic interview between the minor victim and a clinical services coordinator, and (2) excluded from evidence two screenshots of text messages purportedly sent by the minor victim to her stepcousin. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39794 - State v. Anderson (Assault in second degree; reckless endangerment in second degree; "The defendant, Francis Anderson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to the court, of one count of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (3) and four counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence of the requisite mental state necessary for the trial court to have concluded that he acted recklessly. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40946 - State v. Adams (Hindering prosecution; claim that trial court improperly denied motion to correct illegal sentence and motion for procedural default; reviewability of unpreserved claim of judicial bias; "The self-represented defendant, Anthony Adams, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his postsentencing motions to correct an illegal sentence and for procedural default. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) rejected his double jeopardy challenge to his sentence for two counts of hindering prosecution in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-166, (2) concluded that his sentence did not exceed the statutory maximum, (3) denied his motion for procedural default, and (4) advocated on behalf of the state at the hearing on his motions. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40481 - State v. Armadore (Murder; "The defendant, Darius Armadore, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, 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 with the case of his codefendant, Gerjuan Rainer Tyus; (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; (3) that he was deprived of a fair trial when he was identified for the first time in court by Cindalee Torres without a prior nonsuggestive identification; and (4) that the court abused its discretion by admitting certain hearsay statements into evidence. 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=3242

AC41386 - State v. Brown (Murder; carrying pistol without permit; reviewability of unpreserved claim that trial court did not ensure that trial transcript reflected each juror’s oral concurrence with verdict in violation of defendant’s state and federal constitutional due process rights."The defendant, Cleveland Brown, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and carrying a pistol without permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal he claims that the trial court failed to ensure that the trial transcript reflected each individual juror's oral concurrence with the jury verdict. Specifically, the defendant argues that Practice Book § 42-29, which provides that "the verdict shall be . . . announced by the jury in open court," requires that all jurors orally concur with the verdict, and that the trial court's failure to ensure that this procedure was transcribed on the record violated his state and federal constitutional due process rights. In response, the state argues that the record is inadequate for review. We agree with the state that we have an inadequate record for review in the present case. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40071 - State v. Marsala (Criminal trespass in first degree; simple trespass; jury instructions; "The defendant, Michael J. Marsala, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of criminal trespass in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-107 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly declined to instruct the jury on the infraction of simple trespass, General Statutes § 53a-110a, which the defendant claims is a lesser included offense of criminal trespass in the first degree. 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=3226

AC40359 - State v. Montanez (Murder; conspiracy to violate dependency-producing drug laws; carrying pistol without permit; criminal possession of firearm; violation of probation; "The defendant, Elizardo Montanez, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), conspiracy to violate the dependency-producing drug laws in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-277 (a), and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a), and, following a court trial, of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1). The defendant also appeals from the judgment revoking his probation after the trial court found him to be in violation of his probation in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) he was denied his right to due process and trial by a fair and impartial jury when the court denied his request for a mistrial after a bullet hole was discovered in the jury room during deliberations, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in concluding that drive test survey data is admissible under the test for admissibility of scientific evidence set forth in State v. Porter, 241 Conn. 57, 698 A.2d 739 (1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1058, 118 S. Ct. 1384, 140 L. Ed. 2d 645 (1998). We affirm the judgments 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=3215

SC20012 - State v. Newton (Illegal practices in campaign financing; "This appeal requires us to determine the appropriate mens rea for the crime of illegal practices in campaign financing. The defendant, Ernest Newton II, appeals from the judgment of conviction, following a jury trial, of three counts of illegal practices in campaign financing in violation of General Statutes §§ 9-622 (7) and 53a-8. The defendant claims that the trial court improperly failed to instruct the jury that, in order to find him guilty of an illegal campaign financing practice in violation of § 9-622 (7), it must find that he acted with specific intent to violate that statute. The state responds that the defendant waived his instructional challenge and, in the alternative, that the trial court properly instructed the jury that the state was required to prove only that the defendant acted with general intent. We conclude that the trial court improperly instructed the jury as to the applicable mens rea for the crime of illegal campaign financing practices. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is reversed.")

AC41116 - State v. Mendez (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; reviewability of claim that trial court improperly granted appellate counsel's motion for leave to withdraw appearance filed pursuant to applicable rule of practice (§ 62-9 [d]); "In this direct criminal appeal, the self-represented defendant, Kezlyn Mendez, claims that the trial court violated his right to due process by improperly granting his court-appointed appellate counsel's motion for leave to withdraw her appearance in accordance with Practice Book § 62-9 (d). 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=3206

AC40472 - State v. Meadows (Criminal violation of standing criminal protective order; threatening in second degree; claim that conviction of two counts of criminal violation of standing criminal protective order violated defendant's right to be free from double jeopardy; "The defendant, Cody Meadows, was convicted after a jury trial of two counts of criminal violation of a standing criminal protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223a, one count of threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 53a-62 (a) (2) and one count of threatening in the second degree in violation of § 53a-62 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the two convictions for violation of the standing criminal protective order violated his protection against double jeopardy, (2) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury as to the second count of violation of a standing criminal protective order, and (3) his conviction under § 53a-62 (a) (3) violated his right to freedom of speech under the first amendment to the United States constitution. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39899 - State v. Correa (Conspiracy to possess controlled substance with intent to sell; conspiracy to possess controlled substance with intent to sell by person who is not drug-dependent; conspiracy to operate drug factory; "Following a conditional plea of nolo contendere, entered pursuant to General Statutes § 54-94a, the defendant, Ricardo Correa, appeals from the judgment of conviction of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-277 (b), conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to sell by a person who is not drug-dependent in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-278 (a), and conspiracy to operate a drug factory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-277 (c). The defendant entered his conditional plea following the court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence seized from a motel room he was renting. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because: (1) a warrantless dog sniff outside the door of his motel room violated his state constitutional rights, and (2) a warrantless visual search of his motel room violated his state and federal constitutional rights. 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=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.")


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