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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home


6.13-1 Strangulation in the First Degree -- § 53a-64aa

Revised to April 23, 2010

Note: Public Acts 2007, 07-123, § 8, which created this offense, became effective October 1, 2007.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with strangulation in the first degree. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of strangulation in the first degree when such person commits strangulation in the second degree and <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • § 53a-64aa (a) (1) (A): in the commission of such offense, such person uses or attempts to use a dangerous instrument.
  • § 53a-64aa (a) (1) (B): in the commission of such offense, such person causes serious physical injury to such other person.
  • § 53a-64aa (a) (2): such person has previously been convicted of a violation of strangulation in the first or second degree.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Committed strangulation in the second degree
The first element is that the defendant committed strangulation in the second degree. <Insert the elements from Strangulation in the Second Degree, Instruction 6.13-2.>

Element 2 - Additional factor
The second element is that the defendant <insert as appropriate:>

  • in the commission of committing strangulation, the defendant used or attempted to use a dangerous instrument. "Dangerous instrument" means any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or serious physical injury.  "Serious physical injury" means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.  It is important to note that the article need not be inherently dangerous; all that is required is that the article was capable of causing death or serious physical injury under the circumstances in which it was used.  Any article or substance, without limitation and even though harmless under normal use, may be found by you to be a dangerous instrument if, under the circumstances of its use or threatened or attempted use, it is capable of producing serious physical injury or death.  The state need not prove that in fact death or serious physical injury resulted, only that the instrument had that potential under the circumstances.
  • in the commission of committing strangulation, the defendant caused serious physical injury to the person. "Serious physical injury" means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
  • has previously been convicted of strangulation in either the first or second degree. "Convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert the concluding summary from the instruction for strangulation in the second degree>, and that <insert additional factor>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of strangulation in the first degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

Commentary

Subsection (b) provides that "[n]o person shall be found guilty of strangulation in the first degree and unlawful restraint or assault upon the same incident, but such person may be charged and prosecuted for all three offenses upon the same information. For the purposes of this section, 'unlawful restraint' means a violation of section 53a-95 or 53a-96, and 'assault' means a violation of section 53a-59, 53a-59a, 53a-59b, 53a-59c, 53a-60, 53a-60a, 53a-60b, 53a-60c, 53a-61 or 53a-61a."
 


 

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