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Criminal Law & Procedure

New OLR Report on Drug-Impaired Driving Laws

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3409

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research has recently published a report on Drug-Impaired Driving Laws. The report discusses Connecticut's current DUI (driving under the influence) laws, how states with legal recreational marijuana have enacted DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) laws, and options for tests or techniques to identify drug-impaired drivers.

For more information on this topic, please see our Law about Driving Under the Influence, Medical Marijuana, and Drug Crimes pages.


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3404

AC41011 - State v. Hutton (Murder; "The defendant, Nirone Hutton, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court violated his rights under the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution as articulated in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 124 S. Ct. 1354, 158 L. Ed. 2d 177 (2004). Specifically, the defendant argues that the court violated his confrontation rights by improperly admitting into evidence a witness' prior videotaped statement to the police in accordance with State v. Whelan, 200 Conn. 743, 753, 513 A.2d 86, cert. denied, 479 U.S. 994, 107 S. Ct. 597, 93 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1986), because the witness was functionally unavailable for cross-examination due to his refusal to provide verbal responses to any questions asked by the prosecutor or defense counsel when called to testify before the jury. The defendant further argues that the improper admission of the witness' prior statement did not constitute harmless error because its content significantly undermined his justification defense. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of conviction and remand the matter for a new trial.")

AC40337 - State v. Dawson (Criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The defendant, Andre Dawson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence that he was in possession of a pistol or revolver (gun), and (2) he was deprived of a fair trial by the prosecutor's final argument in which the prosecutor allegedly (a) misstated the law of constructive possession and (b) mischaracterized the DNA evidence presented at trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41291 - State v. Weathers (Murder; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Gregory L. Weathers, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial by a three judge court, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1), and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court's rejection of his affirmative defense of mental disease or defect was not reasonably supported by the evidence and (2) the court erred as a matter of law in deciding an issue without the aid of expert testimony. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40924 - State v. Dunbar (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Timolyn Dunbar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding her in violation of her probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court improperly found a violation of probation on the basis of insufficient evidence, (2) her right to due process was violated by the identification procedures used in this case and (3) her right to due process was violated when the court denied her the right to confront an adverse witness. 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=3391

AC41512 - State v. Gonzalez (Home invasion; sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Jose Diego Gonzalez, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), three counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), 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 there was insufficient evidence that he intended to commit sexual assault by force at the time he entered the victim's home. He also claims that the prosecutor's closing argument was improper and (1) deprived him of his right to be heard by counsel during final argument, (2) deprived him of the right to a fair trial, and (3) entitled him to a new trial on the charge of home invasion. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40668 - State v. Ruiz (Violation of probation; motion to suppress; claim that trial court improperly denied motion to suppress one-on-one showup identification; "The defendant, Jose Ruiz, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and imposing a sentence of seven and one-half years incarceration, execution suspended after four years, and three years of probation. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly denied his motion to suppress the one-on-one showup identification on the ground that the identification procedure was not unnecessarily suggestive, (2) improperly found that he violated his probation, and (3) abused its discretion in revoking his probation. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41385 - State v. Gray-Brown (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Dovante Gray-Brown, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (1) and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). The defendant claims on appeal that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress several items of evidence taken from his bedroom because his mother lacked authority to consent to a search of his bedroom, (2) the court abused its discretion by admitting those same items into evidence because they were not relevant and were more prejudicial than probative, (3) there was insufficient evidence to prove, as required for the crime of carrying a pistol without a permit, that the defendant possessed a firearm that had a gun barrel less than twelve inches in length, (4) the court improperly denied the defendant's request for a third-party culpability instruction, and (5) the court improperly refused to question a juror regarding an issue of juror partiality that was raised after conviction. We agree with the defendant that there was insufficient evidence to prove, as required by § 29-35 (a), that the length of the barrel of the firearm used to commit the crime was less than twelve inches. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of conviction as to that count with direction to render a judgment of acquittal on the charge of carrying a pistol without a permit. We are not persuaded, however, by the remainder of the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction in all other respects.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3378

AC40927 - Mitchell v. State (Petition for new trial; attempt to commit murder; conspiracy to commit murder; kidnapping in first degree; conspiracy to commit kidnapping in first degree; sexual assault in first degree; conspiracy to commit sexual assault in first degree; assault in first degree; conspiracy to commit assault in first degree; criminal possession of firearm; "The petitioner, James A. Mitchell, appeals from the trial court's denial of his request for leave to file a late petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his petition for a new trial. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his request because the court, in considering the length of the delay in filing the request, did not consider the reasons for the delay or any other factors relevant to permitting a late filing but, rather, addressed the merits of the petitioner's appeal. We dismiss this appeal.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3377

SC19788 - State v. Daniel B. (Attempt to commit murder; certification from Appellate Court; sufficiency of evidence; "The present appeal requires us to consider whether, in determining the sufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction for attempt to commit murder under the substantial step provision of General Statutes § 53a-49 (a) (2), the proper inquiry should focus on what the actor had already done or on what the actor had left to do to complete the crime of murder. In the present case, the jury found the defendant, Daniel B., guilty of attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a and 53a-49 (a) (2). Following our grant of certification, the defendant appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of conviction. See State v. Daniel B., 164 Conn. App. 318, 354, 137 A.3d 837 (2016). The defendant claims that, in concluding that the evidence was sufficient, the Appellate Court improperly construed § 53a-49 (a) (2) to require the substantial step inquiry to focus on "what [the actor] has already done," rather than what "remains to be done . . . ." Id., 332. The state responds that the Appellate Court properly held that the focus is on what the actor has already done and that, when considering the defendant's conduct in the present case, the Appellate Court properly concluded that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the defendant's conviction of attempted murder. See id., 333. We conclude that the determination of what conduct constitutes a substantial step under § 53a-49 (a) (2) focuses on what the actor has already done rather than on what the actor has left to do to complete the substantive crime. We therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3365

SC19947 - State v. Henderson (Motion to correct illegal sentence; sentence enhancement pursuant to statute ([Rev. to 1991] § 53a-40 [a] and [b]); persistent dangerous felony offender; persistent serious felony offender; trial court's denial of defendant's motion to correct illegal sentence; "We granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following question: "Did the Appellate Court properly conclude that the defendant’s sentence was not illegal, does not violate the double jeopardy clause [of the United States constitution], and does not run contrary to legislative intent?" State v. Henderson, 326 Conn. 914, 173 A.3d 389 (2017).

After examining the record and briefs on appeal and considering the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the judgment of the Appellate Court should be affirmed. The Appellate Court’s thorough and well reasoned opinion fully addresses the certified question, and, accordingly, there is no need for us to repeat the discussion contained therein. We therefore adopt the Appellate Court's opinion as the proper statement of the issues and the applicable law concerning those issues. See, e.g., Anderson v. Commissioner of Correction, 308 Conn. 456, 462, 64 A.3d 325 (2013).

The judgment of the Appellate Court is affirmed.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3357

AC39816 - State v. Rivera (Breach of peace in second degree; criminal mischief in third degree; threatening in second degree; "The defendant, Elvin G. Rivera, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1), criminal mischief in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-117 (a) (1), and threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erroneously prohibited him from cross-examining the state's key witness, Stephen Chase, as to the specific acts underlying several misdemeanor convictions rendered against Chase, (2) the court erroneously denied his motion seeking a disclosure and an in camera review of Chase's medical, mental health, and drug and alcohol treatment records, (3) the court committed instructional error, and (4) the state failed to meet its burden to disprove his defense of property and self-defense justification defenses beyond a reasonable doubt. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40443 - State v. Bennett (Felony murder; home invasion; burglary in first degree; "The defendant, Calvin Bennett, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court improperly rejected his claim that his sentence for both burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3) and home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1) violates his constitutional protection against double jeopardy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40468 - State v. Tyson (Violation of probation; "The defendant, DeShawn Tyson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and sentencing him to nine years of incarceration. See General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly admitted into evidence details of his prior criminal history, and (2) abused its discretion in concluding that he was no longer amenable to probation and imposing the entire period of incarceration remaining on his underlying sentence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3352

AC41114 - State v. Walker (Aggravated sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in first degree; kidnapping in first degree with firearm; kidnapping in first degree; threatening; criminal possession of weapon; credit card theft; illegal use of credit card; fraudulent use of automatic teller machine; larceny in sixth degree; "The defendant, Robert L. Walker, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing in part and denying in part his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction his claim that the sentencing court failed to canvass him or his counsel regarding their review and the accuracy of the presentence investigation report, and (2) denied on the merits, without first providing him with an adequate hearing before the sentencing court, his claim that the sentencing court relied on inaccurate facts contained in the presentence investigation report. We conclude that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider both of the defendant's claims raised by the motion to correct an illegal sentence. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3345

AC40043 - State v. Berrios (Manslaughter in first degree; tampering with witness; intimidating witness; evasion of responsibility in operation of motor vehicle; "The defendant, Dennis Berrios, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1), tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151 (a), intimidating a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151a (A) (1) and evasion of responsibility in the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 14-224 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction of tampering with a witness and intimidating a witness, (2) the trial court improperly permitted certain testimony from a state medical examiner, (3) the court abused its discretion in admitting certain prior misconduct evidence, (4) the court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence crude text messages sent by the defendant and (5) the court improperly instructed the jury with respect to self-defense. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of conviction.")

AC39923 - State v. Bumgarner-Ramos (Assault in first degree; aggravated sexual assault of minor; risk of injury to child; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Carroll L. Bumgarner-Ramos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (3), aggravated sexual assault of a minor in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-70c (a) (3) and 53a-70 (a) (2), risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), and manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of aggravated sexual assault of a minor and (2) his conviction of both assault in the first degree and manslaughter in the first degree violated the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy. We agree with the defendant with regard to his double jeopardy claim and vacate his conviction of assault in the first degree. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.")

AC41584 - State v. Jones (Murder; carrying pistol without permit; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Billy Ray "BJ" Jones, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in its charge to the jury by failing to provide (1) a special credibility instruction and (2) a specific instruction on the dangers of eyewitness identification. We disagree, and accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3338

AC40868 - State v. Carey ("The defendant, Alanna R. Carey, 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 that (1) the trial court improperly admitted hearsay testimony, (2) the state engaged in prosecutorial impropriety that deprived her of a fair trial, and (3) the trial court's instruction on witness credibility improperly misled the jury. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40998 - State v. Peluso ("The defendant, Bernard J. Peluso, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, on two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), two counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A), and three counts 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 improperly granted the state's motion to amend its information. Specifically, he argues that the state lacked good cause to amend its information during trial and, alternatively, that the court improperly concluded that his substantive rights would not be prejudiced by the amendment. We disagree and, thus, affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC40155 - State v. Jerrell R. ("The defendant, Jerrell R., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2), and unlawful restraint in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-96 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) his conviction of both risk of injury to a child charges violate his constitutional protection against double jeopardy and (2) the prosecutor made improper remarks to the jury during closing and rebuttal arguments that deprived him of his due process right to a fair trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40378 - State v. Anderson ("The defendant, Francis Anderson, appeals following the trial court's denial in part and dismissal in part of his motion to correct an illegal sentence, and from the dismissal of his related motion for a new mittimus to implement the court's order on the date it imposed the challenged sentence that he receive all pretrial jail credits to which he is legally entitled toward that sentence. The sentence at issue is a term of incarceration, which the court ordered that the defendant serve consecutively to an unexpired term of incarceration that he was serving at the time of the offenses at issue at the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital (Whiting), to which he had been committed to receive psychiatric care and treatment following his acquittal by reason of mental disease or defect of a third set of unrelated charges. The defendant does not challenge the length of his consecutive sentence. Instead, he claims that that sentence was imposed on him in an illegal manner because the court, after pronouncing that sentence, ordered that he be transferred at once to a state correctional facility to complete his earlier sentence and receive such further psychiatric care and treatment, as necessary, rather than returned to Whiting for those purposes. Claiming that the court had no jurisdiction to enter any order with respect to his earlier sentence, which allegedly would have been completed in a hospital setting rather than a prison had the court not ordered his immediate imprisonment after sentencing, the defendant seeks to correct the court's alleged error by crediting all time that he improperly spent in prison completing his earlier sentence as presentence jail credit toward his consecutive sentence, thereby advancing his release date on that sentence by approximately eleven months. The trial court disagreed, denying that portion of the defendant's motion to correct, in which he made the foregoing argument, and dismissing his parallel claim that the pretrial jail time credit to which he allegedly was entitled had not properly been credited toward his sentence. On this appeal, we affirm all aspects of the trial court's challenged rulings.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3325

AC39597 - State v. Williams (Attempt to commit home invasion; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, DaQuan D. Williams, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of attempt to commit home invasion in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-100aa (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence to support this conviction because the state failed to prove that he attempted to enter the apartment in which Jouleigh Clemente was located, and the state failed to present evidence that he had the specific intent to seriously injure Clemente. We reverse the judgment of conviction on this count.")

AC41228 - State v. Santiago (Murder; "The defendant, Victor Santiago, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial on the charge of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence (1) his wife's statement to the police as a prior consistent statement and (2) her testimony of uncharged misconduct relating to domestic violence perpetrated by the defendant. Additionally, the defendant claims that the prosecutor's alleged violations of the court's order limiting the scope of uncharged misconduct evidence constituted prosecutorial impropriety that deprived him of his due process right to a fair trial. Alternatively, the defendant claims that the alleged prosecutorial impropriety warrants the exercise of this court's supervisory authority to award him a new trial, based on similar conduct by the prosecutor in at least one other trial. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3316

AC40847 - State v. Joseph B. (Sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in third degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Joseph B., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), one count of sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (2), two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion when it (1) denied his motion for a bill of particulars, (2) admitted evidence that the victim was diagnosed with trichomonas vaginalis, and (3) admitted evidence of text messages that were disclosed on the first day of trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40831 - State v. Hanisko (Possession of child pornography in second degree; "The defendant, Stephen Hanisko, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of possession of child pornography in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-196e. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a search and seizure warrant (search warrant) because the information contained in the search warrant affidavit was stale at the time that the search warrant was issued, and (2) the trial court's "evidentiary rulings" were incorrect because the court failed to recognize the oppressive delay between the execution of the search warrant and the issuance of the warrant for his arrest, resulting in a violation of his right to due process. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40429 - State v. Bethea (Falsely reporting incident in second degree; "The self-represented defendant, Jemal E. Bethea, appeals from the judgment of conviction that was rendered against him, upon the verdict of a jury, on the charge of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-180c (a) (1). The defendant was tried under an amended information dated March 2, 2017, in which the state alleged, inter alia, that on or about April 8, 2014, in Wallingford, while knowing the information he reported was false or baseless, he reported to law enforcement an incident that did not in fact occur involving the alleged theft of his motor vehicle, and then, with the intent to injure, defraud or deceive Omni Insurance Group, Inc. (Omni), presented a statement of material fact in support of an insurance claim knowing that the statement contained false or misleading information. Although the defendant's appellate brief is not a model of clarity, we construe his claims on appeal to be (1) that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of falsely reporting an incident, (2) that the verdicts in his case, finding him guilty of falsely reporting an incident but not guilty of insurance fraud, were legally inconsistent, (3) that neither the warrant to search and seize the cell phone records of the defendant's girlfriend, who was allegedly driving the defendant's vehicle at the time it was reportedly stolen, nor the warrant for the defendant's arrest in this case was supported by probable cause, (4) that the trial court erred in admitting a first time in-court identification of his girlfriend by an eyewitness, Jacqueline Pecora, (5) that the trial court erred in admitting impermissible hearsay testimony by Pecora that was more prejudicial than probative, (6) that the trial court erred in admitting the defendant's out-of-court statements to the police that were impermissible hearsay, and (7) that the prosecutor committed a Brady violation by withholding the exculpatory testimony of an eyewitness, Allen Murchie. 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=3306

AC40605 - State v. Patel (Felony murder; home invasion as accessory; burglary in first degree as accessory; robbery in first degree as accessory; conspiracy to commit burglary in first degree; hindering prosecution in second degree; "The defendant, Niraj Prabhakar Patel, appeals from the judgment of conviction of felony murder in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-54c, home invasion as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-100aa (a) (1) and 53a-8 (a) and (b), home invasion as an accessory in violation of §§ 53a-100aa (a) (2) and 53a-8 (b), burglary in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-101 (a) (1) and 53a-8 (a) and (b), robbery in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-134 (a) (2) and 53a-8 (a) and (b), conspiracy to commit burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-101 (a) (1) and 53a-48, and hindering prosecution in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-166. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion for a continuance, (2) denying his motions for a mistrial, (3) admitting into evidence the jailhouse recording between a confidential informant and Michael Calabrese, one of the defendant's coconspirators, (4) preventing him from asking certain questions to potential jurors during voir dire, and (5) giving an improper limiting instruction to the jury regarding nonhearsay testimony. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40250 - State v. Stephenson (Burglary in third degree; attempt to commit tampering with physical evidence; attempt to commit arson in second degree; "The defendant, Joseph A. Stephenson, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered against him after a jury trial in the Stamford Superior Court on charges of burglary in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-103, attempt to commit tampering with physical evidence in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and (Rev. to 2013) 53a-155 (a) (1), and attempt to commit arson in the second degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-112 (a) (1) (B). The defendant claims on appeal that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction on those charges, and thus that he is entitled to the reversal of his conviction and the entry of a judgment of acquittal on each such charge, and (2) the court improperly prevented him from presenting exculpatory testimony from his trial attorney as to a conversation between them two days before his alleged commission of the charged offenses that tended to contradict the state's claim that he had a special motive for committing those offenses. We agree with the defendant that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to convict him of any of the charged offenses, as the state charged and sought to prove them in this case, and, thus, we conclude that his conviction on those charges must be reversed and this case must be remanded with direction to render a judgment of acquittal thereon. In light of this conclusion, we need not address the defendant's second claim.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3300

AC40581 - State v. Young (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; evading responsibility in operation of motor vehicle; operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs as second offender; "The defendant, Mark Young, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered after his guilty pleas to charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) and evading responsibility in the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 14-224 (b) (3), and to previously having been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of § 14-227a (g). The defendant claims that: (1) the court abused its discretion by denying his motion to withdraw and vacate guilty pleas pursuant to Practice Book §§ 39-26 and 39-27 because there was no factual basis for his plea of guilty to § 14-227a (a) and (g) for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence as a second offender; and (2) the court imposed an illegal sentence upon him for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence as a second offender that exceeded the statutory maximum for that offense, and did so in an illegal manner because it relied on materially inaccurate information concerning his criminal record. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in denying the defendant's motion to withdraw, but conclude that the sentence imposed on him exceeds the statutory maximum for the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence as a second offender. Accordingly, we vacate the defendant's sentences on all charges and remand this case to the trial court for resentencing under the terms of the original plea agreement, in accordance with the law.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3287

AC40217 - State v. Miller (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Omar Miller, appeals from the trial court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence without first conducting a hearing on the merits of the motion. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")

AC39187 - State v. Mota-Royaceli (Manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Jayson Mota-Royaceli, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered after a trial to the jury, on the charge of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) limited his voir dire of the venire panel and (2) gave the jury a Chip Smith instruction at an impermissibly coercive time. 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=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://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://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://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://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.")


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