Court to Travel to Waterford
The Connecticut Appellate Court
will travel to Waterford High School on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002, to hear oral
arguments in two criminal cases -- the first time in the Court's history
that it has heard oral arguments at a local high school.
Attending the oral arguments
will be students from a consortium of four high schools -- Waterford, East
Lyme, Montville, and New London. The Honorable Barry R. Schaller, the
Honorable Thomas A. Bishop, and the Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont will sit
on the panel.
The Court's appearance at
Waterford High School is part of an ongoing educational initiative of the
Connecticut Judicial Branch to acquaint students, educators, and the general
public with the role and responsibilities of the court system.
"We believe that providing
students with the opportunity to attend oral arguments helps to broaden
their understanding of the appellate process in Connecticut," Chief Judge of
the Appellate Court William J. Lavery said.
Cameras may be used during a
scheduled panel discussion, but not during oral arguments or while the Court
is in session.
Attorney Susan Connolly,
President of the New London Bar Association, will make a presentation at 10
a.m., followed at 10:15 a.m. with the oral arguments in
State of Connecticut
vs. Clarence Austin. The panel
discussion and question-and-answer session will go from 11-11:30 a.m. At
11:50 a.m., the Appellate Court will hear arguments in
State of Connecticut vs. Lamont Thergood.
The first case involves the
Fourth Amendment. On Jan. 4, 2000, New Haven police stopped Mr. Austin after
witnessing what the officers believed was a drug transaction. During this
stop, officers "patted down" Mr. Austin and found drugs.
Mr. Austin maintained that the
search of his clothing for drugs violated his constitutional rights against
unreasonable search and seizure. He filed a motion to suppress the drugs
that police found and had he prevailed, the drugs could not have been used
as evidence during his trial. But the judge denied Mr. Austin's motion, and
he was found guilty after a trial. Mr. Austin then filed an appeal with the
Appellate Court, arguing that the trial judge erred in failing to suppress
In the second case, defendant
Lamont Thergood gave a written confession to Bridgeport police on March 26,
1999, concerning the murder of Telrence Carter. Police gave Mr. Thergood his
Miranda warning around 7 a.m., several hours after officers first stopped
him in connection with the murder. Mr. Thergood maintains that the written
confession violated his constitutional right against self-incrimination --
first, because he did not understand his rights and was unfamiliar with the
criminal justice system, and second, because he claims that the atmosphere
of the police station was coercive. Mr. Thergood also argues that he did not
voluntarily waive his rights, as police questioned him for several hours
before issuing a Miranda warning.
To help the screening process
and movement of traffic in and out of Waterford High School, it is
recommended that guests not bring laptops, briefcases, backpacks,
pocketbooks, or bags.
For information, please contact
either Jim Senich or Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, Managers of Communications, at