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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5959

SC20742 - State v. Honsch ("In this appeal, we must consider the extent of the state's territorial jurisdiction to prosecute a defendant when the defendant disputes whether the crime occurred within Connecticut's geographical boundaries. The defendant, Robert Honsch, appeals from his conviction of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court incorrectly denied his pretrial motion to dismiss for lack of territorial jurisdiction because the state had failed to establish that the murder occurred in Connecticut, (2) the evidence was insufficient to establish his identity as the perpetrator of the murder, and (3) the trial court erroneously declined his request to provide the jury with an instruction on fingerprint evidence. We disagree with all three of the defendant's claims and affirm the trial court's judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5949

AC46260 - State v. Jean-Baptiste ("The defendant, Oles Jean-Baptiste, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-124 (a) (1), assault of public safety personnel in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (1), and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that his sixth amendment right to counsel was violated by the trial court's alleged inadequate response to his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5930

AC 45883 - State v. Carlson ("The defendant, Kristopher Carlson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant raises multiple claims concerning the trial court’s jury instructions on consciousness of guilt. Specifically, the defendant claims that (1) the instruction diluted the state’s burden to disprove the elements of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, (2) in a self-defense case, a consciousness of guilt instruction improperly burdens the defendant to explain his conduct in violation of his constitutional right not to testify, (3) the instruction was unwarranted based on the evidence presented at trial, (4) the jury was misled by the instruction, and (5) this court should exercise its supervisory powers and adopt a rule categorically prohibiting consciousness of guilt instructions. We conclude that the court did not err by giving a consciousness of guilt instruction and decline to adopt a rule prohibiting such an instruction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5920

SC20708 - State v. Bember ("Following a jury trial, the defendant, Tyhitt Bember, was convicted of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, attempt to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-134 (a) (2), and carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in permitting the state to question two of its witnesses about their cooperation agreements with the state during direct examination and that this questioning amounted to prosecutorial impropriety, (2) the trial court abused its discretion in concluding that the testimony of the cooperating witnesses was reliable and admissible pursuant to General Statutes § 54-86p, and (3) the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the recording of a jailhouse phone call and the .22 caliber revolver seized by the police as a result of information acquired from that recording violated his rights under the fourth amendment to the United States constitution. We reject the defendant's claims and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5913

SC20692 - State v. Andres C. ("The defendant, Andres C., was convicted, after a court trial, of sexual assault in the third degree and risk of injury to a child. During the complainant's testimony at trial, she revealed that, after the assaults, she had engaged in therapy, and, during that therapy, she had kept journals, in Spanish, in which she had written about, among other things, her relationship with the defendant and his sexual abuse of her. Following this revelation, defense counsel requested that the trial court review the journals for potential statements and exculpatory information that should be disclosed to the defendant. After a discussion with the court about this revelation, the parties agreed that the complainant would provide the journals to the prosecutor, and, because the journals were written in Spanish, the prosecutor would enlist the assistance of a Spanish-speaking investigator on her staff to help review the journals. On the basis of the investigator's review, the prosecutor represented to the court that there was no material in the journals that was subject to disclosure under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963). Out of an abundance of caution, however, she submitted four pages of the journals to the court for its review, indicating that she thought the pages were subject to General Statutes § 54-86f, the rape shield statute. Those four pages were translated into English and reviewed by the trial court, and the court disclosed one page to the defendant as potential impeachment material.

...

The judgment of the Appellate Court is affirmed.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5904

AC46102 - State v. Nichols ("The defendant, Robert Lee Nichols, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A) and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). The defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a mistrial predicated on an outburst by the victim while the defendant was testifying at trial and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of sexual assault in the fourth degree. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC46170- State v. Richey ("The defendant, Michael Richey, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62 (a) (2) (A). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence before the trial court was insufficient to sustain his conviction and (2) the trial court erred in refusing to provide the jury with an instruction on defense of premises. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5880

AC46060 - State v. Mallozzi ("The defendant, John Mallozzi, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a court trial, of fourteen counts of false statement in absentee balloting in violation of General Statutes § 9-359a and fourteen counts of forgery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-139 (a) (3).On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the court improperly permitted the state to amend its long form information in the middle of trial; (3) the court improperly denied defense counsel's request to obtain and disclose, in the middle of trial, an expert witness to rebut the state's expert witness; (4) his right to due process was violated by the lack of a requirement that the state disclose the substance of any expert opinion upon which it intended to rely at trial; (5) the court improperly denied his motion to strike the testimony of a witness, proffered by the prosecutor during the state's case-in-chief, after that same witness invoked her fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination when she was called to testify by the defense; and (6) the court improperly denied his motion to dismiss on the ground of selective prosecution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5873

AC45519 - State v. Leuders ("The defendant, Heidi Leuders, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a court trial, of criminal damage of a landlord's property in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-117e. The defendant makes three claims on appeal. First, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence that she intentionally damaged the tangible property of her landlord, Celly Roberts (landlord). Second, she claims that the trial court improperly denied her motion to suppress (a) evidence discovered following a warrantless entry into her residence and (b) statements she made to the police following her arrest. Finally, she claims that, at her sentencing, the court violated her federal and state constitutional rights to due process by considering conduct related to the crimes of which she was acquitted. We disagree with each of the defendant's claims and affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5842

AC46150 - State v. Webber (“On appeal, the acquittee claims that (1) the court erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction over his petition and (2) the statutory exclusion of his petition violates the equal protection clauses of the federal and state constitutions. Although we agree with the acquittee that the court had jurisdiction over his petition, we nonetheless conclude that the court properly denied his petition because, even if we were to agree with him on his equal protection argument, he still would not meet all of the requisite statutory criteria under § 54-255 (c) (5). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court on this alternative ground.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5827

AC46463 - State v. Berrios (“On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) his conviction of assault in the third degree precluded a subsequent prosecution for burglary in the first degree and (2) his acquittal on the charge of criminal mischief in the third degree precluded a subsequent prosecution for burglary in the first degree. The state counters that, because the defendant’s postsentencing motions were filed after the court already had sentenced the defendant, the court did not have jurisdiction to decide the defendant’s motions. We agree with the state.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5819

SC20720 - State v. Diaz (“In this direct appeal, the defendant, Gonzalo Diaz, raises two unpreserved claims challenging his conviction of felony murder, burglary in the first degree, conspiracy to commit burglary in the first degree, attempt to commit robbery in the first degree, and criminal possession of a firearm. First, he claims that the trial court committed plain error when it instructed the jury that it may consider his interest in the outcome of its verdict when assessing the credibility of his trial testimony, contrary to our statement in State v. Medrano, 308 Conn. 604, 631, 65 A.3d 503 (2013), that such an instruction should not be given. Second, he claims that the prosecutor made improper remarks during cross-examination and rebuttal argument, in violation of his due process right to a fair trial. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5811

AC46906 - State v. Roberts (Carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of § 29-35 (a); “The defendant claims that his conviction for this offense should be vacated ‘[i]n light of’ the United States Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. 1, 142 S. Ct. 2111, 213 L. Ed. 2d 387 (2022). Specifically, he argues that the firearm permitting laws in Connecticut place on him an unconstitutional burden that violates his right to bear arms under the second amendment to the United States constitution and subject him to disparate treatment as a non-Connecticut resident (nonresident), in violation of the privileges and immunities clause set forth in article four, § 2, clause 1 of the United States constitution.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5809

SC20575 - State v. Sayles (“On appeal, the defendant raises numerous constitutional challenges to the decision of the Appellate Court upholding the trial court’s denial of his motions to suppress evidence of his cell phone and its stored data. We, however, need not address the merits of the defendant’s various constitutional claims because we conclude that any error in the admission of the contents of the defendant’s cell phone was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5798

SC20688 - State v. Henderson (“In this direct appeal, the defendant, Lawrence Lee Henderson, asks us (1) to reexamine our decision in State v. Arroyo, 292 Conn. 558, 973 A.2d 1254 (2009), cert. denied, 559 U.S. 911, 130 S. Ct. 1296, 175 L. Ed. 2d 1086 (2010), holding that consistency in verdicts is immaterial and legally inconsistent verdicts are therefore not reviewable on appeal, and (2) to hold that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to declare a mistrial when he contracted COVID-19, which resulted in a twenty-five day interruption in jury deliberations. More specifically, the defendant first argues that we should overrule or modify Arroyo because the jury’s verdict finding him guilty of home invasion, in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), was legally inconsistent with its verdict finding him not guilty of the lesser included offense of burglary in the third degree, in violation of General Statutes § 53a-103, even though the same facts and allegations underpinned both charges. He also argues that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a mistrial, in which he contended that the twenty-five day pause after the jury began deliberating prejudiced him because of the risk that jurors would be exposed to improper outside influences or would forget evidence, counsel’s arguments or the trial court’s instructions. We disagree with both claims and affirm the trial court’s judgment.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5751

SC20721 - State v. Kyle A. (Burglary first degree; criminal mischief first degree; threatening second degree; “In the present appeal, the defendant contends that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court had not committed plain error when it failed to give a jury instruction identifying the crime that he allegedly intended to commit when he unlawfully entered or remained in the residence. We conclude that, although the trial court’s instruction did not conform to the language that this court has repeatedly endorsed, the trial court did not commit plain error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5717

AC45975 - State v. Kenneth B. (“On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to support his conviction of assault in the second degree, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence two photographs of the victim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5696

AC45444 - State v. Torell (State petition seeking continued commitment to the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Review Board pursuant to § 17a-593 (c); “The acquittee claims that the court improperly denied (1) his motion to dismiss alleging a violation of substantive due process, (2) his motion to dismiss alleging a violation of procedural due process, and (3) his motion to strike a portion of the board’s report to the court recommending a period of continued commitment not to exceed ten years. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5689

AC45869 - State v. Christopher R. (“The defendant, Christopher R., 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) (1), two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and one count of attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-70 (a) (1). On appeal, he claims that the trial court violated his constitutional rights by finding that his waiver of his right to testify was voluntary and denying his request to open the evidence to allow him to testify following his assertion that the waiver of his right to testify was involuntary. 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=5674

SC20771 - State v. Gamer (“We granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following issues: (1) ‘Did the Appellate Court err in failing to reverse the trial court’s judgment revoking the defendant’s probation on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant’s failure to pay restitution was wilful?’ And (2) ‘[d]id the Appellate Court correctly conclude that the trial court had not abused its discretion in imposing a term of imprisonment for the defendant’s violation of probation rather than some lesser sanction?’ State v. Gamer, 345 Conn. 920, 284 A.3d 984 (2022).

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5671

SC20740 - State v. Samuel U. (“The defendant, Samuel U., appeals from his conviction of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). Specifically, he claims that the state infringed on his due process rights by providing a notice of its intent to offer evidence of his other sexual misconduct that was inadequate and did not conform to the evidence elicited at trial. The defendant also contends that the trial court abused its discretion under § 4-5 (b) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence by admitting the testimony of his daughter, S, concerning sexual misconduct he engaged in with her fourteen years before the charged conduct in the present case. We disagree with both of the defendant’s claims and affirm the trial court’s judgment.”)