The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

by Booth, George

 

SC19872 - State v. Damato - Kushel (Writ of error; "This case is before us on a writ of error. The plaintiff in error claims that the trial court improperly precluded him, either personally or through his attorney, from attending plea negotiations and other discussions involving the court, the state's attorney and defense counsel during in-chambers, pretrial disposition conferences in the criminal prosecution of Kyle Damato-Kushel, which is now pending in the judicial district of Fairfield. In that criminal case, Damato-Kushel is charged with various offenses arising out of her alleged sexual misconduct involving the plaintiff in error commencing when Damato-Kushel was a teacher's aide in the school system of the town of Stratford and when the plaintiff in error was a fourteen year old student attending a school in that town. The plaintiff in error claims that the trial court's ruling barring his attendance at the pretrial disposition conferences violated his right as a victim "to attend the trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend" under article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution, as amended by articles seventeen and twenty-nine of the amendments (Conn. Const., amend. XXIX [b] [5]). The defendants in error, Damato-Kushel and the Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, maintain that the trial court correctly determined that such conferences, when they are conducted in chambers and off the record, do not constitute "court proceedings the accused has the right to attend" within the meaning of amendment XXIX (b) (5) and, therefore, that the court properly precluded the plaintiff in error from attending them. We agree with the defendants in error and, accordingly, dismiss the writ of error.")

AC40390 - State V. Ramos (Murder; sufficiency of evidence; credibility of witnesses; "The defendant, Jose E. Ramos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction, (2) the court erred in failing to suppress evidence of his post-Miranda silence, (3) the court committed plain error by admitting prior misconduct evidence, and (4) he was deprived of his due process rights as a result of prosecutorial impropriety. We are not persuaded by the defendant's claims on appeal and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38993 - State v. Petitt (Sale of narcotics; "The defendant, Daryl Petitt, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts of illegal sale of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence crack cocaine from the second and third sales the defendant made to an undercover police officer, who could not authenticate the drugs because he made no distinguishing mark on the contraband. The defendant also claims that the trial court committed plain error by not striking from evidence the crack cocaine from the first sale the defendant made to the officer because the evidence was not first properly authenticated. He seeks reversal of all three counts and a new trial on each of them. We conclude that because the chain of custody was properly established for all three pieces of evidence, the trial court neither abused its discretion nor committed plain error in admitting them into evidence for the jury's consideration. We accordingly affirm the judgment.")

AC38719 - State v. Wade (Sale of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent; possession of narcotics with intent to sell by person who is not drug-dependent; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Sidney Wade, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that his resentencing did not give rise to a double jeopardy violation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")