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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1887

AC38103, AC38104, AC38105 - State v. Smith (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; tampering with witness; "In these consolidated appeals, the defendant, Brian Smith, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1), and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151 (a). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict him of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug and (2) the court erroneously admitted certain evidence relating to the witness tampering count. We affirm the judgments of the trial court."


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1881

AC40237 - State v. Salmond (Murder; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The defendant, Dennis Salmond, appeals from the judgment of conviction of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his constitutional right to due process by denying his motion to suppress an eyewitness' in-court identification of him, and (2) abused its discretion by denying his request for a special credibility instruction with respect to the testimony of that eyewitness. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38915 - State v. Antwon W. (Sexual assault in first degree in violation of statute (§ 53a-70 [a] [1] and [2]); sexual assault in third degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Antwon W., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his second motion to correct an illegal sentence, in which he claimed that the sentencing court improperly relied on inaccurate and unreliable information in sentencing him on three counts of sexual assault in the first degree under General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1) because those sentences were imposed upon him before the vacatur, on grounds of double jeopardy, of his three parallel convictions of and associated concurrent sentences for sexual assault in the first degree under § 53a-70 (a) (2) based upon the same underlying sexual assaults. We reject the defendant's claim that the court relied upon inaccurate information in sentencing him, but conclude that the form of the judgment is improper and, therefore, remand this case with direction to deny the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence.")

AC39368 - State v. Richard P. (Sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; "The state of Connecticut appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court after the state entered a nolle prosequi in a criminal case charging the defendant, Richard P., with various offenses arising from his alleged physical and sexual abuse of two of his children. The state claims that the court improperly dismissed the case because it had sufficiently represented to the court that a material witness had "died, disappeared or become disabled" within the meaning of General Statutes § 54-56b and Practice Book § 39-30. We are not persuaded and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1873

SC19725 - Jones v. State ("In October, 1990, the petitioner, Melvin Jones, was arrested and charged with the murder of Wayne Curtis, who had been found shot to death in New Haven just a few days before the petitioner's arrest. The case was tried to a jury, which found the petitioner guilty. Nearly twenty years after the crime occurred, in 2010, certain pieces of evidence from the petitioner's trial were tested for the presence of DNA pursuant to an agreement with the state. He later relied on that testing to petition for a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence. In his petition, he claimed that the new DNA testing demonstrated that he did not commit the murder. The trial court disagreed, concluding that the new DNA results, although valid, failed to establish that the new evidence would likely produce a different result in a new trial. The Appellate Court, reviewing the trial court's decision for an abuse of discretion, upheld that decision. Jones v. State, 165 Conn. App. 576, 604, 140 A.3d 238 (2016).

In his certified appeal to this court, the petitioner contends that the Appellate Court should have engaged in a de novo review of whether the new evidence was likely to produce a different result. He argues that de novo review is appropriate because the credibility of the new evidence is undisputed, requiring only the application of the legal standards to the facts found by the trial court. He further asserts that, had the Appellate Court properly engaged in a de novo review, it would have decided the case in his favor.

We agree with the petitioner that de novo review is appropriate in the specific circumstances of this case, namely, when the petition for a new trial is decided by a judge who did not preside over the original trial and no fact-finding was necessary because both parties agreed that the new evidence was fully credible. Applying a de novo standard of review, we nevertheless disagree that the petitioner is entitled to a new trial. We therefore affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1869

AC36832 - State v. Blaine (Conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; "This case returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court with direction to consider the claim of plain error raised by the defendant, Jayevon Blaine, in light of State v. McClain, 324 Conn. 802, 155 A.3d 209 (2017). The defendant previously appealed from the judgment of conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2). We held in our prior opinion that the waiver of a claim of instructional error pursuant to State v. Kitchens, 299 Conn. 447, 10 A.3d 942 (2011), precluded review of the claim of plain error. State v. Blaine, 168 Conn. App. 505, 517–19 and n.5, 147 A.3d 1044 (2016), remanded in part, 325 Conn. 918, 163 A.3d 618 (2017). In State v. McClain, supra, 815, our Supreme Court held that a Kitchens waiver did not preclude a claim of plain error. We now consider the defendant's claim that the trial court committed plain error by incorrectly instructing the jury on the requisite intent to find him guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree. We conclude that the record does not support the claim that the pertinent instruction constituted plain error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39200 - State v. Anthony L. (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; sexual assault in third degree; "The defendant, Anthony L., was convicted, after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and one count of sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its direction in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction on all three charges. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38953 - State v. Juarez (Conspiracy to commit murder; attempt to commit murder; "The defendant, Miguel Juarez, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-54a, and attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of either charge, and (2) the state failed to prove the charges of which he was convicted as they were set forth in its long form information. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=867

SC19772 - State v. Panek ("The defendant, John Panek, was accused of engaging in sexual activity with a woman in his home and, while doing so, making a video recording of the encounter without the woman's knowledge or consent. He was accused of doing the same thing on at least two other occasions with two other women. In three separate informations, the state charged the defendant with violating General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-189a (a) (1). This section generally prohibits a person from, knowingly and with malice, video recording another person "(A) without the knowledge and consent of such other person, (B) while such other person is not in plain view, and (C) under circumstances where such other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy . . . ." General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-189a (a) (1). The present appeal concerns the meaning of the element requiring that the victim be "not in plain view" when she is recorded. General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-189a (a) (1) (B). More specifically, we are asked to determine to whose plain view the statute refers.

The defendant moved to dismiss the informations on the ground that the "not in plain view" element refers to the plain view of the defendant. He asserted he could not be charged or convicted under this statute for his conduct because each of the women he was with was within his plain view at the time he recorded them. The state responded that the "not in plain view" element of § 53a-189a (a) (1) referred instead to the perspective of the general public and that, because the defendant and the victim were inside his home at the time, they were "not in plain view" of the public when the alleged offenses occurred. The trial court concluded that the statute plainly and unambiguously referred to the plain view of the defendant and dismissed the informations. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgments of dismissal. State v. Panek, 166 Conn. App. 613, 635, 145 A.3d 924 (2016).

Contrary to the trial court and Appellate Court, we conclude that the text of § 53a-189a (a) (1) plausibly could refer to either the plain view of the defendant or the general public, rendering the statute ambiguous. Consulting extratextual sources, we are persuaded that the "not in plain view" element refers to the general public. We also reject the defendant's alternative ground for affirming the judgment of the Appellate Court, namely, that the "not in plain view" element is unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. We therefore reverse the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=861

AC38762 State v. Esquilin (Violation of probation; reviewability of unpreserved claim that trial court violated defendant's right to due process by admitting drug test reports into evidence without requiring state to introduce results through testimony of analysts who performed testing; "The defendant, Kason U. Esquilin, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32 and imposing a four year prison sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court deprived him of his right to due process by admitting into evidence reports of the results of drug tests performed on urine samples collected from the defendant, without requiring the state to introduce such results through the testimony of the analysts who performed the actual testing. We conclude, in accordance with State v. Polanco, 165 Conn. App. 563, 571, 140 A.3d 230, cert. denied, 322 Conn. 906, 139 A.3d 708 (2016), that this claim was not preserved and that the record is inadequate to review it pursuant to State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 239–40, 567 A.2d 823 (1989). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

SC19900 - State v. Josephs (Cruelty to animals; "This case requires us to examine the meaning of language used in General Statutes § 53-247 (a), a provision that criminalizes a broad range of acts of cruelty to animals. The defendant, Delano Josephs, appeals from the judgment of conviction of a single violation of § 53-247 (a), stemming from his shooting of his neighbor's cat with a BB gun.The defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly concluded that the clause of § 53-247 (a) applicable to his conviction, which bars a person from "unjustifiably injur[ing]" an animal, requires only a general intent to engage in the behavior causing the injury, (2) the phrase "unjustifiably injures" in § 53-247 (a) is unconstitutionally vague both facially and as applied to the facts of this case and (3) the evidence was insufficient to support the defendant's conviction pursuant to § 53-247 (a). We disagree with each of these claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")

SC18072 - State v. Campbell ("The defendant, Jessie Campbell III, appeals, following a trial to a jury, from the judgment of conviction of capital felony in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-54b (8), two counts of murder in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-54a (a), attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-54a (a), assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-59 (a) (1), and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-217c (a) (1). He was subsequently sentenced to a total effective sentence of death plus forty-five years incarceration. On appeal to this court, the defendant has raised a total of thirty-five claims, including twenty-one claims pertaining to the penalty phase. Prior to oral argument, this court directed the parties to address an additional issue: whether the defendant's penalty phase challenges had been rendered moot by this court's decision in State v. Santiago, 318 Conn. 1, 122 A.3d 1 (2015), which abolished the death penalty. We conclude that the defendant's claims challenging the penalty phase are not yet ripe. We address his remaining claims and affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=848

AC38935 - State v. Tucker (Probation; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Raymond Tucker, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) erred in admitting a 911 recording into evidence, (2) erroneously found that the defendant had violated his probation, and (3) abused its discretion in imposing a sentence of three years incarceration. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39376 - State v. Manousos (Arson in first degree; "The defendant, Anthony C. Manousos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of arson in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-111 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) denied his motions to suppress various tangible items collected from him, as well as oral statements that he made to the police during an investigatory stop and subsequent patdown search for weapons; and (2) compelled him to disclose prior to trial the substance of the opinions of the expert witness he intended to call at trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38855 - State v. Brown (Possession of more than four ounces of marijuana; subject matter jurisdiction; "The defendant, Aceion Brown, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his petition for a writ of error coram nobis. We conclude that, in the circumstances presented, the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of the petition, and we do not reach the merits of his ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Because the court should have dismissed the petition, rather than having denied it, we reverse the judgment of the trial court only as to the form of the judgment and remand the case with direction to dismiss the petition for a writ of error coram nobis.")

AC38419 - State v. Outlaw (Assault of public safety personnel; plain error; "The defendant, Vaughn Outlaw, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault public safety personnel in connection with his assault of an employee of the Department of Correction (department) in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (5). On appeal, the defendant asserts that the court committed plain error when it did not include detailed language on the use of unwarranted or excessive force as part of its instructions to the jury on the second element of § 53a-167c (a) (5), which pertains to whether the employee was acting in the performance of his duties. The state contends that the defendant explicitly waived his claim at trial and failed to demonstrate that the court committed an obvious error resulting in manifest injustice. Because we agree with the state's latter argument, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=835

AC39980 - State v. Lebrick (Felony murder; home invasion; conspiracy to commit home invasion; burglary in first degree; attempt to commit robbery in first degree; assault in first degree; "The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court improperly admitted into evidence (1) former testimony of a witness in violation of § 8-6 (1) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence and the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution, and (2) testimony by the state's firearm and tool mark expert in violation of § 4-1 of the Connecticut Code of Evidence and the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39720 - State v. Montana (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Travis Montana, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered after a jury trial, of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and (2) the court abused its discretion in excluding third-party culpability evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=824

AC34886 - State v. Bush (Sale of narcotics; sale of narcotics within 1500 feet of school; conspiracy to sell narcotics; "This case is before us on remand from our Supreme Court following its affirmance of our determination that insufficient evidence was presented at trial to sustain the conviction of the defendant, Richard Bush, for racketeering in violation of General Statutes § 53-393 et seq. The Supreme Court disagreed, however, with this court’s determination that the defendant was entitled to a new trial on the other charges of which he had been found guilty—six counts each of sale of narcotics and sale of narcotics within 1500 feet of a school, and one count of conspiracy to sell narcotics—because the trial court’s denial of his motion for a continuance to review voluminous discovery documents after granting his second request to represent himself had effectively deprived him of his constitutional right to self-representation. Before us now are the defendant’s additional claims of error as to his remaining convictions.The defendant claims that the trial court: (1) violated his constitutional right to self-representation by not granting his initial request to represent himself on the second day of voir dire; (2) improperly instructed the jury on the charge of conspiracy; and (3) improperly sentenced him to a term of twenty years incarceration on his conviction for conspiracy. We reject the defendant's first two claims of error, and thus conclude that he is not entitled to a new trial. We agree with the defendant, however, that he was improperly sentenced to a term of twenty years incarceration on his conviction for conspiracy. Accordingly, we remand this case for resentencing on that conviction.")

AC39893 - State v. Jin (Conspiracy to commit burglary in third degree; "The defendant, Gang Jin, appeals from the denial of his motion to open the judgment of conviction, after his guilty plea made pursuant to the Alford doctrine, of conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-103 and 53a-48. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly denied his application for the accelerated rehabilitation program pursuant to General Statutes § 54-56e and (2) erred in determining that he had received the effective assistance of counsel. The state counters that, following the imposition of the defendant's sentence, the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the defendant's motion to open. Additionally, the state argues that the defendant's claim that the court retained jurisdiction because he had been sentenced in an illegal manner, which was raised for the first time on appeal, fails because he challenges the "events prior to his conviction and guilty plea, rather than events at sentencing." The state further contends that the defendant's guilty plea, made pursuant to the Alford doctrine, waives all prior nonjurisdictional defects. We agree with the state that, following the imposition of the defendant's sentence, the court's jurisdiction terminated. Additionally, we decline to consider the defendant's claim of an illegal sentence because he failed to present this issue to the trial court via a motion to correct an illegal sentence. Finally, the form of the judgment is improper, and therefore we reverse the judgment and remand the case with direction to dismiss the defendant's motion to open.")



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=819

AC39921 - State v. Grant ("The defendant, David Grant, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-55 (a) (1) and 53a-55a, and assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (5). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) admitted evidence of his involvement in the sale of drugs and (2) permitted the state on redirect examination to inquire as to whether a witness had observed the defendant carrying a firearm on a prior occasion.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=814

SC19597 - State v. Miranda (Murder; "On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly, (1) failed to strike the testimony of a witness who claimed that guidance from God, rather than his own recollection, had led him to identify the perpetrator in a photographic array, after the court ruled, in the jury’s absence, that this testimony was inadmissible, and (2) permitted the victim’s mother to testify that she had heard that the defendant was connected to the victim’s disappearance. We conclude that the defendant waived his first claim and failed to preserve his second claim. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=808

AC38227 - State v. Jackson (Assault in first degree; tampering with witness; "The defendant, Kevin Jackson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, following a trial to the court, of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1) and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the state presented insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction for those offenses, (2) the court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss two counts alleging tampering with a witness, and (3) the trial court improperly restricted his recross-examination of a witness. We are unpersuaded by each of the defendant's claims and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40099 - State v. Mukhtaar (Murder; "The self-represented defendant, Abdul Mukhtaar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence.The defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in (1) denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence and (2) denying his motion to allow an expert witness to testify. We disagree.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=798

AC38124 - State v. Azevedo (Arson in first degree; attempt to commit insurance fraud; attempt to commit larceny in first degree; conspiracy to commit arson in first degree; conspiracy to commit insurance fraud; conspiracy to commit larceny in first degree; "On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) out-of-court statements of a coconspirator that the trial court admitted into evidence constituted inadmissible hearsay and violated the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution, and (2) that the state's use of cell site location information violated article first, § 7, of the constitution of Connecticut. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38832 - State v. Smith (Probation; "The defendant, Jacqui Smith, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and sentencing him to five years incarceration.The defendant claims that (1) the court improperly denied his motion to dismiss the probation violation charge on the basis that the hearing did not occur within 120 days of his arraignment in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32 (c) and (2) the evidence was insufficient to prove that he had operated a motor vehicle while his driver's license was under suspension in violation of General Statutes § 14-215 (a) and, therefore, he is entitled to a new sentencing hearing. The state counters that, pursuant to State v. Kelley, 164 Conn. App. 232, 137 A.3d 822 (2016), aff'd, 326 Conn. 731, 167 A.3d 961 (2017), the 120 day time frame of § 53a-32 (c) is directory and, additionally, that the court properly found good cause for the delay. The state concedes, however, that there was insufficient evidence for the court to conclude that the defendant had violated § 14-215 (a), and, therefore, under these facts and circumstances, the defendant is entitled to a new sentencing hearing. We conclude that the court properly determined that the 120 day time period of § 53a-32 (c) is a nonmandatory "guideline." Further, we agree that a new sentencing hearing is required. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=795

SC19690,SC19692 - State v. Adams (Breach of peace second degree; attempted larceny sixth degree; certification from Appellate Court; "The issues that we must resolve in these certified appeals by the defendant, Lorenzo Adams, and the state are whether the Appellate Court correctly concluded that (1) the defendant’s conviction of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 was supported by the evidence, and (2) the defendant’s conviction of attempted larceny in the sixth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-49 and General Statutes (Rev. to 2005) § 53a-125b was not supported by the evidence. The defendant was charged with a variety of offenses after he attempted to steal merchandise from a Marshalls department store in Danbury and engaged in a scuffle with the store’s security personnel. After a trial to the court, the defendant was found guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree and attempted larceny in the sixth degree, and the court rendered judgment accordingly. The defendant appealed from the judgment of conviction to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the conviction of breach of the peace and, in a split decision, reversed the conviction of attempted larceny. See State v. Adams, 163 Conn. App. 810, 825, 137 A.3d 108 (2016). We then granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal to this court on the following issue: 'Did the Appellate Court correctly determine that there was sufficient evidence to support the defendant's conviction for breach of the peace?' State v. Adams, 321 Conn. 913, 136 A.3d 1273 (2016). We also granted the state’s petition for certification to appeal on the following issue: 'Did the Appellate Court majority correctly determine that there was insufficient evidence to support a judgment against the defendant of attempted larceny in the sixth degree?' State v. Adams, 321 Conn. 912, 138 A.3d 281 (2016). We dismiss the defendant’s appeal on the ground that certification was improvidently granted, and we reverse in part the Appellate Court’s judgment with respect to its determination that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of attempted larceny in the sixth degree.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=788

AC39851 - State v. Garcia (Writ of error; bail; "In this writ of error, the plaintiff in error, Afford-A-Bail, Inc. (Afford), claims that the trial court improperly denied its motion to discharge its obligation on a surety bail bond. Afford claims that the court, in denying its motion, improperly concluded that: (1) the standard for demonstrating "good cause" for discharge of an obligation upon a surety bail bond pursuant to Practice Book § 38-23 is the standard first set forth in Taylor v. Taintor, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 366, 369–70, 21 L. Ed. 287 (1872), rather than a more holistic, equitable assessment; and (2) the failure of the defendant in error, the state of Connecticut, to extradite the criminal defendant, Jay Garcia, after representing that it would do so, was not relevant to the court's good cause determination. The state argues that the requirement of good cause for discharge of the obligation upon the surety bond pursuant to General Statutes § 54-65c and aspects of the common-law rule in Taylor as explicated in State v. Sheriff, 301 Conn. 617, 21 A.3d 808 (2011), were not satisfied. We conclude that the trial court properly denied Afford's motion to discharge its obligation on the surety bond and, therefore, we dismiss the writ of error.")

AC38166 - State v. Fuller (Conspiracy to steal firearm; conspiracy to commit larceny in fourth degree; conspiracy to commit burglary in third degree; illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent; illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent within 1500 feet of public elementary school; conspiracy to commit illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court, in denying his requests to personally possess a copy of the discovery items disclosed by the state pursuant to Practice Book §§ 40-10 and 40-13A: (1) violated his federal and state constitutional rights to counsel, a fair trial and due process; (2) abused its discretion; and (3) committed structural error. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC37859 - State v. Johnson (Robbery in second degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in second degree; sufficiency of evidence; plain error doctrine; "The defendant, Anthony Johnson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-135 (a) (1) (B), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-135. On appeal, the defendant claims that the jury found him guilty on the basis of uncorroborated accomplice testimony, which, as a matter of law, is insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. In making this argument, the defendant acknowledges that Supreme Court precedent must be overturned for him to be able to prevail on this claim. The defendant also claims that the trial court improperly failed to caution the jury regarding the dangers of uncorroborated accomplice testimony and improperly admitted a witness' prior inconsistent statement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=783

SC19711 - State v. James E. (Risk of injury to child; certification from Appellate Court; "The primary issue that we must resolve in this certified appeal is whether the state presented sufficient evidence from which the jury reasonably could have concluded that the defendant, James E., was guilty of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), when he retrieved and discharged a firearm during a chaotic altercation with another man in the vicinity of his three year old child. The defendant appealed from the judgment rendered in accordance with the jury's guilty verdict to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the trial court because, inter alia, there was sufficient evidence to support his conviction of risk of injury to a child based on an uncharged mental health theory of liability. See State v. James E., 154 Conn. App. 795, 798, 112 A.3d 791 (2015). We granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal, and, on appeal, the state presented an alternative ground for affirmance: "There was sufficient evidence to prove [that] the defendant [was] guilty of risk of injury to a [child] because the defendant wilfully or unlawfully caused or permitted a three year old child to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of that child was endangered." The defendant opposes this alternative ground, claiming that the state also lacked sufficient evidence to support his conviction under that theory. We agree with the state on the alternative ground presented and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=775

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.")



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=769

AC37582 - State v. Davis (Accessory to murder; "This case returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court; see State v. Davis, 325 Conn. 918, 163 A.3d 618 (2017); with direction to consider the claim of plain error raised by the defendant, Paul Davis, in light of its decision in State v. McClain, 324 Conn. 802, 155 A.3d 782 (2017). We now consider the defendant's appeal from the judgment of conviction of accessory to murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-8 (a), in which he claimed that the trial court committed plain error by improperly instructing the jury that it was not necessary for the state to prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim to find him guilty of accessory to murder.

We conclude that the trial court did not instruct the jury that it was not necessary for the state to prove the defendant's intent to kill. Rather, the trial court properly instructed the jury that the state was not required to prove that the defendant intended to kill the specific victim that was killed.

Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38979 - State v. Fowler (Revocation of probation; "The defendant, Jamarr Fowler, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and imposing a previously suspended three year prison sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) found a violation of probation on the basis of insufficient evidence; (2) determined that the Office of Probation had authority to include a probation condition that the defendant must submit to global positioning system (GPS) monitoring; and (3) denied the defendant's motion to dismiss. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38916 - State v. Walker (Murder; "This case returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court; see State v. Walker, 325 Conn. 920, 163 A.3d 619 (2017); with direction to consider the claim of plain error raised by the defendant, Joseph Walker. In our previous opinion, we reversed the judgment only with respect to the defendant's conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree. State v. Walker, 169 Conn. App. 794, 812, 153 A.3d 38 (2016), remanded for consideration, 325 Conn. 920, 163 A.3d 619 (2017).

We affirmed the judgment in all other respects. Id. As to the defendant's claim that the trial court committed plain error by failing to instruct the jury, sua sponte, on accomplice testimony, we concluded that '[b]ecause the defendant waived his right to raise the present claim of instructional error, he is foreclosed from seeking consideration under the plain error doctrine.' Id., 810–11.

Upon granting the defendant's petition for certification to appeal from our previous decision, the Supreme Court has now directed this court to consider the defendant's claim of plain error in light of State v. McClain, 324 Conn. 802, 155 A.3d 209 (2017), which held that an implied waiver of a claim of instructional error pursuant to State v. Kitchens, 299 Conn. 447, 482–83, 10 A.3d 942 (2011), does not preclude an evaluation of that claim under the plain error doctrine. State v. McClain, supra, 815. After consideration of the defendant's claim, we conclude that plain error does not exist, and, accordingly, we affirm the judgment.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=760

SC19678 - State v. Urbanowski (Assault second degree; breach of peace second degree; strangulation second degree; threatening second degree; certification from Appellate Court; "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 do not consider whether the Appellate Court properly concluded that the trial court had abused its discretion in admitting the uncharged misconduct evidence because we agree that any such error would be harmless for the reasons given by the Appellate Court. Because the Appellate Court's well reasoned opinion fully addresses the certified question, it would serve no purpose for us to repeat the discussion contained therein. We therefore adopt the Appellate Court's opinion as the proper statement of the issue of harmlessness and the applicable law concerning that issue. See, e.g., Recall Total Information Management, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., 317 Conn. 46, 51, 115 A.3d 458 (2015)

The judgment of the Appellate Court is affirmed.")

AC39878 - State v. Eddie N. C. (Risk of injury to child; sexual assault in first degree; "The defendant, Eddie N. C., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts 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 risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly admitted (1) prior misconduct testimony, (2) statements made by the victim, A, to her mother, treating physicians, and a social worker under the medical diagnosis and treatment exception to the hearsay rule, and (3) opinion evidence regarding the ultimate issue of whether A had been sexually assaulted, which the defendant claims constitutes plain error. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC36250 - State v. Bialowas (Manslaughter in second degree; evasion of responsibility in operation of motor vehicle in violation of statute ([Rev. to 2009] § 14-224 [a]); "The defendant was convicted of manslaughter in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-56 and evasion of responsibility in the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 14-224 (a). He was sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment, execution suspended after fifteen years, followed by five years of probation. He appealed, claiming that the trial court committed plain error by failing to instruct the jury that a defendant's reasonable fear of harm from the victim would be a defense to the charge of failing to stop and render assistance under § 14-224 (a). This court affirmed the defendant's conviction, holding that he had waived his challenge to the evasion of responsibility jury instruction under State v. Kitchens, 299 Conn. 447, 10 A.3d 942 (2016). See State v. Bialowas, 160 Conn. App. 417, 125 A.3d 642 (2015), remanded, 325 Conn. 917, 163 A.3d 1204 (2017). The defendant filed a petition for certification to the Supreme Court, arguing that this court improperly failed to conduct a plain error review of his claim of error with respect to the evasion of responsibility instruction. While the petition was pending, our Supreme Court released its decision in State v. McClain, 324 Conn. 802, 812, 155 A.3d 209 (2017), holding that a Kitchens waiver does not preclude appellate relief under the plain error doctrine. Thus, the Supreme Court granted the defendant's petition and remanded the matter to this court. State v. Bialowas, 325 Conn. 917, 163 A.3d 1204 (2017). In light of McClain, we review the defendant's claim pursuant to the plain error doctrine and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=746

AC39621 - State v. Myers (Murder; "It has been long settled in our appellate procedure that an appellant must raise and analyze in his first and principal brief any matters necessary for the determination of his appeal, and cannot do so for the first time in his reply brief. The defendant, Ricardo O. Myers, was convicted, after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a and two 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 erred in excluding the video interview of a witness who was unavailable to testify. Because the defendant failed to brief any analysis of how the alleged erroneous ruling was harmful, until he filed a reply brief, his claim is unreviewable. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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